Wednesday, February 17, 2010

VANOC secrecy extends to cookies

From the “why should I be surprised?” file.

The snack table at the Cypress Mountain media centre included -- gasp! -- free cookies. This was in the same room where VANOC was selling Snickers candy bars for $3. The ones with the special Believe wrappers. (I Believe that’s price-gouging!)

There was a whole basket of generic milk and white chocolate cookies. The one I had went down just fine with the free hot chocolate.

So who makes the snacks? Good question. The bilingual wrapper with very detailed ingredients (“may contain peanuts, tree nuts, sulphites and tartrazine”) and nutritional information (170 calories per serving) only says “made exclusively for VANOC, Vancouver, B.C. V5K 5J5.”

cookie frontDSCN6069

At the Olympics, there is paranoia about avoiding sponsor conflicts or making a commercial relationship where one should not exist. But this is taking it a little too far.

Then again, VANOC is one of the most secretive businesses in Canada. The organizer of Canada's Games doesn’t have a Canada flag on the property outside its City of Vancouver-owned headquarters.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not exactly Canadian Olympic history

I hate to pop your balloon and rain on your parade, but the presentation of the men's moguls gold medal to Canada's Alexandre Bilodeau at B.C. Place Stadium on Feb. 15 was not the first time a Canadian received a Winter Olympics gold medal in a ceremony in Canada.

On June 25, 2004, cross-country skier Beckie Scott was awarded a gold medal for the Salt Lake 2002 5-km pursuit. North Vancouver-based International Olympic Committee member Charmaine Crooks bestowed the medal on Albertan Scott in the midday ceremony at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Scott was the bronze medalist, but a doping scandal caused the Court of Arbitration for Sport to revoke medals from Russians Olga Danilova and Larissa Lazutina, who occupied the top two steps on the podium at Soldier Hollow in Utah. Scott was rightly upgraded.

Bilodeau was the first Canadian to win gold on snow-covered straw and soil at Cypress Mountain on Feb. 14, but Scott was the first Canadian to be awarded winter gold in Canada.

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