Olympocalypse! The Start!
That’s it! Arnold Schwarzenegger (who campaigned on a platform of taking jobs away from the province he’s worked in several times before – I’m just saying) has the torch, the opening ceremonies are under way, and we’re off to the races… and games… and distances? Is that it – time, goals, and distance? I think that’s right.
– Unless you’ve been asleep today, which I concede is possible, you’ll have heard about Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luger. Kumaritashvili came down from the last turn of the track too early, which ran him into the right hand lip of the home stretch – at 134-144+ kph, that resulted in a terrible crash into some support girders. A tragic start to a happy day for a lot of people. To every Twitter wag that had something pithy to say about lugers, bite me.
– The CBC, prior to today’s crash, was already questioning whether an outer limit of safety has been reached in the Olympic games. A similar conversation has been ongoing around the office here – when car racing reached it’s “too dangerous” point, mechanical solutions could be brought into play. Race cars could have their speed delimited, forcing crews to seek strategic advantage through other means (like fuel efficiency, etc.) and engineering could deflect harm away from the driver. None of this is an option in skiing, snowboarding, bobsledding, luging and so on. The way to push records and win games is just as much about pushing past safe/sane limits, as it is making the perfect start, finding the perfect line, etc. With a death (and a lot of injuries in the months leading up to the games), I think a lot of discussion will take place on this very subject.
– A happier story. My first year in Vancouver, I got to go listen to fellow Calgarian Tim Tamashiro play at the now gone Babalu Bar. With him were fellow jazz cads, Jamyz Bee and David Pierce. Good company, great show, an all round awesome time. Well, guess who’s the musical director for the Olympics? Tim Tamashiro would be a good guess, given the way I laid this paragraph out, but no, it’s Mr. Pierce. Mr. Tamashiro has a bit to say about his pal, Dave.
– Did you miss the torch run? No problem – Flickr is filling up with loooooooots of olympic photos.