Wow, that was fun and easy
The breeze you felt was 34 million Canadians exhaling and then roaring with delight.
As morose as a nation could be after its men's hockey team fell to Team USA last week, the polite folks here did a complete 180 on Day 13. With a rout of historic hockey rival Russia, the streets and cabarets of Vancouver exploded with a joy that could only be matched if the gold medal becomes theirs.
Red-and-white, maple-leafed flag-draped revelers filled Robson and Granville streets as the night faded, with as large a police presence as these Winter Games have seen so far.
An athlete goes political
She's more than an a jock, always has been, but that's an even clearer takeaway on Day 13 as U.S. women's hockey star Angela Ruggiero was selected by her fellow Winter Olympic athletes to become a member of the International Olympic Committee.
The four-time Olympian, Harvard grad and sports management masters student has visited U.S. troops in Afghanistan and taught sports to kids in Uganda. And she'll try to get her second career gold medal on Day 14 as the U.S. women face Canada. Good for her.
Why is it so hard to get it right?
Short track is about as exciting and telegenic a sport as the Winter Olympics provide. But it always seems a questionable official's call gets tangled in the web of the elbowing, pushing, interfering, leaning sport. Why arbitrarily tame the madness? It happened again when South Korea saw its relay team disqualified on a seemingly ticky-tack violation. China won the gold instead. As in Salt Lake City eight years ago, the idiosyncrasies of the sport need to be resolved so fairness prevails.
Tweet, Tweet, she said
This isn't the first day to have a Twitter takeaway in Vancouver. Indeed, it's about the 13th day we've been tweetified. But the use of the social media microblogging tool for athletes to communicate with fans, friends and the media is quite remarkable. It allows star athletes such as skier Julia Mancuso to produce self-generated "sound bytes" on her own, sans reporters' questions.
On Day 13, when she was sent down the mountain for her first Giant slalom run, she had to stop midway because teammate Lindsey Vonn had crashed. Mancuso got a do-over, but under worse conditions. From somewhere up there in Whistler, Mancuso Tweeted: "that yellow flag in the GS was such... I just want to scream. I'm really miffed. Anyway, gotta take that energy and focus it for 2nd run." Instant popping off is sooo 21st century.
Organizers have done a marvelous job at keeping these Games on track, more or less, and the optics for TV have been grand because of all the hard work. But it shouldn't be raining in a Winter Olympic city, not in town, not on the mountains.
And Sochi, Russia, host to the Winter Olympics in four years, is supposed to be even more temperate. Maybe it's global warming. It's surely the warmest winter in British Columbia history. Today and in recent days, Winter Olympic fans needed umbrellas, not parkas. Can't help but take that away on spring-like Day 13.
Swimming star and 14-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps visits the Olympic Winter Games.
They aren't worrying about a potential gold-medal match up with Canada; they aren't thinking about retirement; aren't concerned about losing six-straight exhibition games to Canada in fall 2009.