Cybernaut 

Olympic fever - catch it!

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Canada’s prospects at the upcoming Olympic Winter Games look pretty good. Aside from hockey, where we’re looking at another pair of repeat gold medals, we have strong athletes in almost every event.

Our speed skaters are setting new records, our bobsled, luge and skeleton athletes are bringing home medals every week, Becky Scott is even faster on her cross-country skis than she was in 2002, our freestyle team is bringing home four medals a week, our snowboard team has solid podium contenders in every event, the new figure skating crop is pretty good (or so I’ve heard), and we’ve qualified more skiers for the alpine events than ever. And our national curling teams? Forget about it!

Of course the Games are about a lot more than medals, and any normal person should be able to dredge up at least a little happiness for the winner, wherever they may be from. It takes 10 years of hard work to get to the Games, or so they say, and all the athletes are deserving of our respect.

The best part of the Games is always the stories. A lot of the athletes come from small towns, and had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get where they are.

For example, Janica Kostelic of Croatia dominated the women’s alpine events in the last Winter Games with a record four medals – even though she hails from a country without a real ski hill, grew up training Rocky IV style on a farm by balancing on wood and throwing logs around, occasionally driving through the night with her father and brother to ski slopes in Austria, sleeping in the car when they could stay for two days or more. Her Olympic dreams came true.

With the time lag between Italy and B.C. – Italy being nine hours ahead – it will be a little awkward watching events on television. For instance, to watch the men’s gold medal hockey game live, you’ll have to either get up at 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning or stay up all Saturday night.

That’s how the Internet comes in handy – you’re going to need to do a little planning in advance to stay on top of things.

www.torino2006.org, www.torino2006.org

This is the official site of the 20 th Olympic Winter Games in Torino. There are a few feel-good stories on the homepage, but you’re going to click on the link for "Competitions and Schedules" and look for the "Programme" link. From there you can make a short-list of the contests you want to watch, tape, TiVo, or whatever.

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