588375321.jpg
NBC fail-whale.
Vancouver's Winter Olympics got off to a bad start. And things have only gotten worse.

A month before opening ceremonies, unseasonably warm weather

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Four Reasons Why Vancouver's Winter Olympics Are the Worst Ever

588375321.jpg
NBC fail-whale.
Vancouver's Winter Olympics got off to a bad start. And things have only gotten worse.

A month before opening ceremonies, unseasonably warm weather forced the closure of ski slopes so that race officials could preserve what little snow was already on the ground.

Since then, there's been a highly-publicized death, a shameful bit of blame-gaming, a technical snafu that embarrassed Canada's greatest sports hero in front of millions of people worldwide and, of course, NBC's shitty coverage.

So are Vancouver's Winter Games the worst ever?

I say yes. Here's four reasons why.

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A screengrab of the Georgian luger moments before the impact that killed him.

1) Nodar Kumaritashvili's Death

It's not the crime, it's the cover-up. Although the crime is pretty bad too.

Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili's death was gruesome enough. Especially after video surfaced of his 90-mph collision with a steel beam during a practice run last Friday.

But the real shame of Kumaritashvili's fatal accident was that it could have been prevented.

The Whistler track is the fastest in the world. So fast that organizers of the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia, were told not to model their own track after Vancouver's because it was too dangerous.

The IOC knew of the potential harm caused by a run where lugers could reach speeds of up to 96 mph. And so did Kumaritashvili, who told his father days before his death that he was scared of the turn that ended up killing him.

Yet 24 hours after the crash, the IOC released an investigation in which it ruled Kumaritashvili's death was the result of human error. Essentially blaming the victim.

They then followed that PR masterstroke by making behind-the-scenes safety changes that contradicted their public stance: pushing forward the men's start line to reduce speeds and putting up a padded barrier at the turn where Kumaritashvili lost his life.

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We've told this climate change-denialist she's sunbathing in Belize. Watch what happens when she discovers it's actually Whistler, B.C.!

2) No Snow

This you can hardly blame on Vancouver. Or can you?

The city has no control over the weather. Nor the schizophrenic El Nino front that's turned things topsy-turvy, making Seattle warmer than South Beach.

But it is the warmest city ever to host the Games. A factoid that didn't seem to be an issue until Whistler started seeing flip-flop weather in February.

Fault gets halved for this one. Half to the IOC for picking Vancouver. And half to Vancouver for settling for the Winter Olympics, geeky younger brother to the chain-smoking, Yamaha-driving badass Summer Games.

3) Pissing off Wayne Gretzky

All traces of the video that showed the NHL's all-time leading points getter waiting awkwardly to light the torch have been removed by NBC's copyright monkeys.

But rest assured, moments before the video above the Great One was forced to wait for what seemed like an eternity. And I'm firmly of the belief that angering a national treasure is just bad mojo.

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Johnny Weir's awesome Flickr account
If this guy spins four times in the air and doesn't fall down upon landing, Vancouver will have been saved.
4) NBC

As sports blogger Spencer Hall so helpfully points out, NBC's coverage would be great...if this were 1988.

Ignoring the fact that any results will be instantaneously Tweeted, Facebooked and blogged about seconds after they happen, NBC has employed the dreadful habit of tape-delaying the Games biggest events so they can be shown on prime-time.

The move maximizes ratings and profits. But it also pisses off viewers who already know Bode Miller got Bronze six hours before they're able to watch him do it.

That this technology-denying strategy comes from the network that gave us one-month of feuding late-night hosts should come as no surprise.

But the joke is on NBC. Because despite their cold-blooded calculations they're still gonna lose "a couple hundred million" broadcasting the Games.

Conclusion: Given the depth, breadth and creativity with which Vancouver's Winter Olympics have sucked (incorporating tragedy, farce and furious-making corporate stewardship), I say that these Games are the worst. So far.

All bets are off if gayer-than-Bowie American ice skater Johnny Weir lands the quad. Then they will be the best ever.

 
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