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The re-birth of the Olympic village as “the best in North America”

November 6th, 2009 · 7 Comments

This is a bit late, but here’s my story about the elaborate ceremony to hand over the Olympic athlete’s village to VANOC on Wednesday. (Sorry, was down for the count for part of yesterday so wasn’t keeping up to speed.)

It was quite the event, with the life-size Olympics mascots dancing around and everything, to the point where a VIP sitting next to me said, “I feel like I’m on an acid trip.”

It made me realize that there is one more thing to fear with the Olympics, besides massive bills, never-ending construction projects, and widespread road closures. That is, the danger of kitsch overload.

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  • Frothingham

    “I feel like I’m on an acid trip.” … A bad trip?. A downer!. Funny that these damn hippies have gone onto to visit more horrors on us. Bad acid, man!

  • IanS

    Did the VIP mean it as praise or as criticism?

  • Rebecca

    I was there and loved it! Great job esp to the Project Office!!

  • While I too fear months of chronic kitsch overdose lay ahead, the financial burden on the city and it’s taxpayers (as well as on every level of government and taxpayer beyond our borders) is the real “fright night” story.

  • I lived in La Ciudad for two years, in the late ’90’s: maybe I have mentioned this before but it’s worth a reminder.

    I1968 the Olympic event is durable and well remembered for the Tlatelolco massacre officialdom does its damnedest to erase: it wont happen here, of course, what with the billion dollar lock down: rest easy!

    A year later the Falcones were at it again!

    Mexico City Ciudadanos are described by out of Towner’s as “Chilangos”. Surprising as this may be to itinerant tourists this is not a term of affection: it is a term of resentment referring to La Ciudad as the massive blood sucking over populated smog that drains the rest of the country of vital resources: translated it says “greedy pigs”.

    What happens if we refer to Vancouverites thus?

    Now when I hear, for the umpteenth time “the best in North America” and . . .

    “I think it’s turning into a very good news story,” said Ian Smith, a city planner who has worked with the project since the beginning. “There’s a different dynamic now.”

    . . . my antenna twitches. I mean, its like asking Pamela Anderson “does your belly have spots.” The response is sooooooo predictable . . .

    Who benefits from such hyperbolic hysteria? How long will it last and what of the blow back?

    We know from other posts “renters” will not. Sure as hell I will not! Will you?

    Well we’re stuck with it now . . .

    Let’s see where we are in 2011 . . . Oh Canada!

  • Westender

    I realize there is some debate over the future of affordable housing at the Olympic Village.
    Does anyone know 1.) if there is any dedicated (market) rental housing in the Olympic Village and 2.) are future strata corporations restricted from establishing “no rental” bylaws?

  • M.Cox

    The good news is there will be public housing at the Olympic Village. Unfortunately, it is going to be underwater, as will much of your new neighbourhood, in about ten to twenty years. If this doesn’t bother you, move in! If it does, hip waders, a rubber dinghy, and maybe fishing lessons are in order. The arctic is going to be be ice-free in the summers soon, and Greenland is going, going, going…Antarctica is next.