Maxed Out 

Premier sticks his foot in it again

By G.D. Maxwell

Okay, now I’m worried.

Last week it seemed as though the whole Olympics thing was more or less in the bag. I was convinced, not to say fatalistic, the Games were ours to lose. Like most Whistleratics I talk to, I was already designing a Web site to sublet my suite for the run of the Olympics at a price guaranteed to support me comfortably in my retirement. With those wacky North Koreans threatening to launch the Nuclear Winter Games and the truculent Euros overreaching for five out of the next six Games, tiny, perfect Whistler seemed a pretty good bet.

Now I’m not so sure.

It’s not the length of the highway that’s got me in a lather after offhanded comments by the chief evaluation wanker. No matter how long the Sea-to-Sky highway is – and who’da thought Vancouver was too far away – it seems longer in the morning… after coffee… with no comfort stations… and a broken toilet on the bus.

Besides, like the man said, pump $600 mil into it and it’ll seem much shorter. Which brings up an interesting point. When Nagano was going to get the Winter Olympics they needed faster transportation to and from Tokyo. So they spent a whole lot of dough for a high speed bullet train. Everybody was thrilled. But now, with such fast, easy, high speed access, nobody stays at Nagano’s hotels anymore. They come for the day and bullet home for dinner. The hoteliers hate it. Not that there’s any lesson we might take away from their experience.

No, the real reason I fear we may lose the Olympics can be laid at the feet of our very own Preemie, Slash Gordon. He was up Monday to ski with Big Jean, hobnob with the IOC, catch some rays and do some turns. I’m sure between gladhanding, musing about privatizing the liquor store and checking out some possible casino sites, he thought all was going well. Nice sunny day, everything spit and polish, no jackknifed tanker on the road, virtual demonstrators.

Yet, without even knowing it, he was probably responsible for scuttling the bid. The evidence was right there in the Vancouver newspaper, the tabloid one, not the other one. I can never keep them straight. Standing next to Big Jean, smilin’ his goofy smile – the one that always makes him look like he’s been drinking even though I believe him when he says he’s quit – flashing a meaningless and trite thumbs-up, decked out in comp ski suits that had to be some of the least colourful, least fashionable, most drab threads on the slopes, there was the coup de grace.

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