Feb. 12 is a great date for a group of eight.
Eight athletes, including a Canadian, will celebrate their birthdays at the opening ceremony in B.C. Place Stadium. You could say the Olympic cauldron will be the biggest candle they will every see. Just add cake.
Happy Birthday (and welcome to Vancouver) on Feb. 12 to: curling's Thomas Dufour of France (1973), biathlon's Michela Ponza of Italy (1979), hockey's Jonas Hiller of Switzerland (1982), alpine skiing's Steven Nyman of U.S.A., (1982), hockey's Andrei Karev of Belarus (1985), ski jumping's Antonin Hajek of Czech Republic (1987), hockey's Meghan Agosta of Canada (1987), and skicross's Clara Marsan of Austria (1989).
Ski jumping qualifying on the normal hill at the Whistler Olympic Park in the Callaghan Valley is the first and only sporting event on opening day and that could be a good omen for Hajek.
I had a similar experience on Aug. 8, 2008 when by B-day was in the biggest B-town of them all. It was a very happy and sweaty 38th birthday amid the 50 Celsius heat during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Games in the Bird's Nest.
I found there was a benevolent side to Big Brother, who was constantly watching us foreigners in China. When I returned to the Huiyuan Media Village after the ceremony, I discovered a gift of a souvenir pin of a Chinese tripod with a birthday card on my night table. Xie xie!
For Los Angeles 1984 silver medal sprinter and VANOC director Charmaine Crooks, it was her 46th birthday on Aug. 8, 2008. We often joke about the 100,000 friends who came from around the world to join us at the biggest party of our lives.
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