Editorial 

Olympic tail wagging the Whistler dog?

 

I used to live in Whistler. Now I feel sorry for people living in Whistler. Everybody out there has been Olympically brainwashed.

The rest of this province is now going to pay for your fancy crap.

I hope it rains in 2010.

– unpublished letter to the editor

 

If you’re already tired of the Olympic “hype”, which is what some people call any information about the 2010 Games, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Starting this month, the flow of information about the Olympics, including public forums, advertising campaigns and news stories, should be ramping up.

Which is not a bad thing. Many of us have been waiting for meaningful new information about the Olympics for some time. As details about accommodation, transportation and budgets finally starts to emerge Whistlerites will get a better picture of what they’re in for, and can plan accordingly.

But whether the thought of more Olympic information coming your way makes you groan or gives you a sense of relief that somewhere, some people are actually making progress (and decisions), the Olympics and Paralympics are more and more going to be a part of our lives for the next two and a half years. Love ’em or hate ’em, we’re not going to be able to ignore ’em.

In fact, the 2010 Olympics already permeate much of what we do. You only have to look at the front page of Tuesday’s Vancouver Sun to see how the Olympics are becoming the prism through which many things are viewed.

The main photograph on the front page, by Whistler’s Bonny Makarewicz, was of the logging truck that tipped over just south of Function Junction on Monday. Two people miraculously survived the accident, which sent a log through the windshield of their car while other logs crushed the car. A pickup truck was also damaged.

The headline over the photo, in all caps, was: “Sea to Sky Route the Olympics’ Achilles heel?”

The lede for the story on page 3 was: “For the second time in three days, a serious accident shut down the Sea to Sky Highway on Monday, raising questions about how organizers of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics will deal with such problems during the Games.”

Further down the story stated: “The treacherous highway is mid-way through a $600-million upgrade, in which some sections are being expanded to four lanes specifically to accommodate the anticipated increase in traffic during the Olympics.

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