Saturday, February 20, 2010

Week One: Twitter v.s. Blogging, 2-0

Ok, so it turns out that this blog is NOT the best place for you to keep up on whatever HenryHudsonBear and I are doing out here in sunny Vancouver for these summer Winter Olympic Games. (-:

We've been so busy twittering, clicking video and photos, live-streaming, phlogging, video-conferencing, and checking all 3 email accounts (?) -- that blogging has become the LAST of all the techno-gizmo's we've had the time or energy to use to communicate.

But what great adventures and incredible FUN we've had!! (Yes my lovelies, you still get to use that "F-word" in class for a number of weeks longer.)

And perhaps that's as good an insight as any I'll get into the world of the new "social networking" tools the younger generation is using to communicate these days.... Fast, short, down, and dirty. A little addictive, self-centered, and non-retractable, but SUCH a lot of fun!

I've discovered that blogging (for me, at least) takes too much time, energy, effort, and concentration -- all of which I'm finding are in very short supply at night when the images of the day are free-floating in my brain. And then the next morning, we're off and running again!

But today is the beginning of 6 days of evening-only events, so I'll try to catch up on many of the blog posts I started this week, but never finished.

Oh, and the Term 2 report cards I still need to finish!

But for now,
for keeping up-to-date
on all of our Olympic adventures,

going to
HenryHudsonBear and/or beachcat11

clearly wins hands-down,
as the better place for you to see.

Week One score from the Ontario judge:

Twitter 2, Blogging 0.

cb ( =

"So We're Not Perfect" (copied: I'll reference this as soon as I find it. cb)

Forwarded email: please let me know if you can find the author.

I love this!

Subject: So we're not perfect!

We never claimed to be perfect.
That means we've learned to be humble.
We say excuse me and I'm sorry, as well as please and thanks.
Even when its not our fault we apologize!

Sure one arm of the torch didn't rise,
But when the earthquake struck Haiti, Canadians raised their hands to say "We'll help".

And yah, there is a fence around the torch.
But you can walk right up and shake hands with our prime minister and most famous Canadians.

We put Gretzky in the back of a pick up, in the rain, not surrounded by police, and he was okay.
And by the way... the great one is Canadian, and HE wasn't complaining!

We do have security at the games, of course, but most people don't even own a gun they have to leave at home.

The medals ARE under lock and key, but our doors and our hearts are open to the world.

It has been pointed out that some buses broke down last week, but let's not overlook the fact that our banking system didn't.

We didn't get the "green ice maker" right this time, but we will, eventually.

Just like we did when we invented the zamboni.

Citius Altius Fortius

If you don't reach higher, how do you get faster and stronger?

Was the first quad jump perfect?

Should we not have given snowboarding to the world "in case" it didn't take off?

So big deal! One out of four torch arms didn't rise. Good thing we had 3 more! It's called contingency planning!

But remember, the Canada Arm works every time in outerspace, and insulin turned out to be okay.

We couldn't change the weather, but maybe we can help stop global warming.

We don't have the tax base of the US, or the power of the Chinese but, per capita, we ponied up for some pretty kick-ass venues in the worst global recession ever.

Sure, some folks couldn't afford tickets, but our health care is universal.

We have shown the world that we can raise our voices in celebration and song, but moments later stand in silence to respect a tragic event... together... spontaneously, and unrehearsed.

What's more, we don't need permission from anyone to have a slam poet, fiddlers with piercings, and a lesbian singer tell our story to the world, while our multi-lingual, female, Haitian-born, black Head of State shares a box with her first nations' equals.

We've shown the world that it doesn't always rain in Vancouver, that you can strive for excellence, but not get hung up on perfection.

And we've learned what it feels like to be picked on by some no-name newspaper guy and we don't have to take it lying down!

So the point is not the snow, or the hydraulics, or a couple guys being 5 minutes late to ceremony. We know we're lucky that these are the biggest problems we had to deal within the last couple weeks.

So take your cheap shots, Guardian Newspaper and cynics of the world.

We're bigger and better than that.

What's more, we're finally starting to believe it!

Do you believe?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Opening Ceremonies Memorable Moment #1

48 hours have passed, and the 21st Winter Olympic Games have really begun.

The games proclaimed open, races done, medals won, and the unthinkable has actually happened -- an Olympian has died -- and a sliding track now judged the fastest on the planet has higher and protected sides. Too late for the young Olympian from Georgia, Asia, whose throttling G-force speeds threw him out of control and against the sides.

And so for me, the most painful moment of the Opening Ceremonies was seeing the Georgian team in the Parade of Nations begin their slow walk up the ramp to enter the BC Place stadium -- against a backdrop of snow and back-lit lighting -- it truly seemed an epic struggle for them to push themselves forwards to reach the entrance... a painful funeral procession. And then, on entering the stadium, the crowd spontaneously rising to their feet and drumming steadily, mournfully, and in respect, in ovation salute, grieving not only his loss and their loss, but our loss as well... the loss of innocence and the loss of illusion... the Olympics are not just some trivial fun set of games.

The thrill of extreme sport, the extreme challenge of world class competition, the ability to rise above and control the fear, the willingness to take risks which far exceed a few bruises or broken bones -- all of these combined make the Olympics a very deadly game.

The head of the Georgian team's trembling comment: "This is what I know. No sport is supposed to kill anyone. You're not supposed to do sports and die."

But athletes in extreme sports willingly take that risk, and knowingly tempt fate every time they pit themselves against a mountain, hurl themselves down a track, or throw themselves into the air off a stories-high jump.

But with the illusions of youth, they never expect it to end with black armbands and somber teammates walking a slow and painful procession around an Olympic stadium, wiping tears from their eyes.

Opening Ceremonies: My Most Memorable Moment #2: John Furlong's Address

Excellencies, President & members of the International Olympic Committee, Members of the Olympic Family, Athletes of the world, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Bienvenue…Welcome to Vancouver!

With Jack Poole and Nodar Kumaritashvili in our hearts – and standing on the shoulders of every Canadian – I commit that the men and women of Vancouver 2010 -- our partners and our friends -- are ready to deliver the performance of a life time.

Tonight through the magic of television, we visit the living rooms of the world to tell our story --- And as we do -- we invite people everywhere to share and experience -- even if just for a few moments -- what it feels like to be a proud Canadian.

As you - the best Winter Olympic athletes of all time – enter the arena prepared for you here in Canada - to compete in the honour and glory of sport – seizing the moment to inspire the youth of the world through your heroic efforts – you carry with you the hopes and the dreams of so many. You are role models for our children - heroes – giants--human champions – the best ever.

You are living proof that men and women everywhere are capable of doing great good – and that in life, as it is in sport -- we should always give our best -- and never, ever give up. You are our beacon of hope - in a world so much in need of peace – healing – unity - generosity and inspiration. Youth the world over aspire to be just like you. You compete with such bravery, conviction and pride. At these Games you now have the added burden to shine and be united around your fallen colleague Nodar. May you carry his Olympic dream on your shoulders and compete with his spirit in your hearts.

Many thousands have made tonight and the days ahead possible -- But the spirit and soul of all 33 million Canadians has been sewn into the fabric of these Winter Olympic Games. This journey has not been about the few -- but rather the many. All Canadians – Aboriginal Canadians – New Canadians – English and Francophone Canadians – And the myriad of cultures, micro cultures, languages and peoples that make Canada - Canada.

And tonight the longest domestic torch relay in Olympic history ends in this Stadium after an epic, unforgettable journey of discovery - across a land visually blessed - rich in history -- and profoundly human. The Olympic flame has touched many millions and prompted spontaneous, peaceful celebration – Reminding us all that those values that unite and inspire the best in us -- we must never abandon. As the Olympic Cauldron is lit – the unique magic of the Olympic Games will be released upon us. Magic so rare that it cannot be controlled by borders – The kind of magic that invades the human heart touching people of all cultures and beliefs – Magic that calls for the best that human beings have to offer – Magic that causes the athletes of the world to soar -- and the rest of us to dream.

Tonight – here - in the glow and wonder of the Flame -- we can all aspire to be Olympian.
From whatever continent you have come, we welcome you to Canada -- a country with a Generous Heart. We love that you are here. You are among good friends. Vous etes parmis vos amis. We are honoured to be received into so many hearts and homes all over the world this night – And we aspire to leave you with breathtaking memories to last a lifetime.

Let us all be reminded that the world is indeed watching. Hoping! Cheering! If you listen ….You can almost hear the voices. Through our example tonight and over the 16 days to come our children will begin to dream and believe in what is possible. Lives of great significance begin with a spark – a nudge – a gesture. Together let us touch as many as we can -- while we can.

On this the proudest night of my life… I thank my loyal, selfless team mates -- our tireless -- smiling “blue jacket” volunteers -- our partners -- our thoughtful leaders -- the IOC and global Olympic family and our many friends and families -- for their belief, their endurance, their sacrifice, and their courage. And of course, thanks to the thousands of media -- story tellers and broadcasters -- who will shape and chronicle every details of this adventure for its place in history. To the people of the Games' host communities -- we applaud you for your spirit and for opening your hearts and your homes to the world. And of course we thank the billions watching across the globe who hope and pray for our success.

Tonight we are - as we have been - One Team – Une Equipe.

And in keeping with proud Olympic Tradition we have given this grand, human adventure -- our very best.

As the 21st Olympic Winter Games – Canada’s Games -- begins, it is with Glowing Hearts – Des Plus Brilliants Exploits….. That we wish you all the Time of your Lives….. Que L’Esprit Des Jeux Vous Habite.

Thank you all and may God Bless Canada.