Nodar Kumaritashvili’s death is a big part of what will be remembered about vancouver 2010. Anytime an athlete dies that will leave a mark on an event. For me the Luge Federation’s horrible attempt to blame Nodar himself the next day is why I thought I’d open up the last blog with it. One of the lowest points of an Olympics I’ve seen.
Also saying the track wasn’t dangerous but then putting in various changes because it clearly was showed how two-faced they were. Case where I don’t blame the IOC but it fell on VANOC. Various racers leading up to these games warned them about it. Luge, Skeleton and Bobsleigh are treacherous no matter what. When they are worried about a track you listen and don’t blow them off. From Yahoo Sports.
It was obvious they had built a sliding track in Whistler that was too fast and too challenging. Luge athletes were complaining from the start of practice. Then Nodar Kumaritashvili died when he was ejected from the track and into a steel pole. They slowed the luge track, yet then watched bobsledders struggle to make it down later in the Games.
Later, documents, emails and other smoking guns became public that showed concern about the track from officials, including those within the International Luge Federation. Luging is a dangerous sport, but there is no need to make it this difficult. The death of Kumaritashvili should be used to improve safety going forward. It was a terrible and unfortunately lasting moment from these Games.
Those athletes take risks everytime they race so it takes a lot for them to raise a red flag. Similar to race car drivers.
Takes a lot for me to agree with Jacques Rogge but I did in some quotes he’s said in the last few days. He said the IOC didn’t set the standards for the Whistler track.
“But we are morally responsible. Our responsibility is to make sure that no unnecessary risks are taken. There will always be risk in sport but it has to be reasonable. And the athletes take a lot of risk themselves.”
“The IOC has been very clear in saying to the Russians [2014 Winter Games] please deliver us a track that will be not hazardous. We never ask for more speed on the ice. Never. There has never been any requests to say you should go faster, it should be more difficult. This is something that clearly emanated from the international federation who approved the design.”
About Kumaritashvili’s death compared to other Olympic tragedies.
“It will be a part of the Games. It would be stupid to say the opposite. Just ask about what happened in Munich. What happened in Munich is part of the Games. What happened in Atlanta is part of the Games. There is no way you can isolate it.”
Rogge said the death affected him “very strongly,” and he didn’t sleep for two nights.
“In my profession, you are used to seeing people pass away, but for acceptable reasons, because of disease, because of age. [Rogge was a practicing physician.] And when you see a young athlete pursuing his dream of participating in the Olympic Games and end up in such an accident, it hurts.”
CTV Sunday morning had Rod Black and Jamie Cambpell on. I said before on the blog how I wasn’t a fan of his play by play. I do like him as a broadcaster. Always heard good things about people meeting him as well. Host asked them near the end what you would remember most about these games. Jamie gave the brutally honest answer.
The face of luger who died. Jamie was at the Broadcast Centre that Friday preparing for the sports he was going to call on Saturday. He saw the crash on TV, possibly before most of us had even heard about it. Once he heard he died he admitted he broke down. Betting CTV was looking for the first Gold Medal on home soil story from Jamie. Some things are more important.
Still haven’t watched an Olympic Gold Medal hockey game since 1994 between Canada and Sweden. Don’t like the professionals at the games. That’s it. I have to say the pros are the only ones who I saw cause anger in people the last 2 weeks. Where I work we had a lot of people come by and watch parts of the Olympics on a TV we have in the lobby. If Canada didn’t win in other sports no one got angry.
End of the Canada-Switzerland game which Canada won I saw angry people. Think I quoted this before but one guy before the shootout. “These Motherf$%kers get paid millions of dollars and they can’t beat the Swiss”. Didn’t hear anything like that if a speed skater finished 4th. More swearing at the team at the end of the Canada-Slovakia game.
Reading Twitter tonight and the word “relief” came up alot. Not happiness as much as people relieved they won. A bit strange. Felt much more happiness online when Moir/Virtue won. Tweets from women crying during that so it was memorable reading.
I’ll have one more Olympic-esque blog tomorrow as I catch up on things I missed. I’m a big sports fan but I know sports are a fun distraction. Nothing more and nothing less. Enjoy the game while watching it however it shouldn’t eat away at you if your team loses. Was my opinion of Canada or self worth going to change if the country didn’t win the ‘battle of the millionaires’ ? No, that be crazy. Tomorrow is another day win or lose.
In June it’s the world’s biggest sporting event of the year. 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Winter Olympics are big, but not World Cup of Soccer big. Don’t kid yourself. Those fans border on the insane from time to time. Killing a player for scoring on his own net for example. Not everyone knows the story about Andres Escobar. Scored on his own net against the USA in 1994. A month later in Columbia he was shot 12 times as the shooter reportedly yelled “GOAL!” after each shot. Whether the murderer was hired by Colombian drug syndicates who had bet heavily on the game was never proven. You can imagine that would be difficult and dangerous to prove in that country. The murderer was sentenced to 43 years in prison, then reduced to 26 years. And he only served 11 after being let out for ‘good behaviour’. No, that’s not fishy at all. To also show how big soccer is his funeral was attended by a few people. 120,000 to be exact.
Dark side of sports but let’s hope nothing approaching that happens this time. Does put “crazy hockey fans” in perspective though. Imagine a hockey player getting hurt at all for making a mistake. Unfathomable.
Remember Vancouver 2010 is not over yet. Even though some of the TV coverage would have you believe it is. The Paralympics start on March 12th. CTV/Rogers is doing more coverage than CBC has done. Didn’t see it but Brian Williams even said he’s hosting it. Glad they’re finally giving those games their due. I’ve tried to watch in the past but it would be tape delayed till late at night. CTV, TSN and Sportsnet showing it. We’ll see how they do. I’ll be here to write about it.
Thanks to Olympic Price Watch for linking to the blog yesterday. I’ll post tomorrow any updates from the site. Let’s hope the bad ones smarten up before the Paralympics start.
Quite easy to sum up the games’ ups and downs. Got the new Peter Gabriel CD as he covers various artists. Does a song by Randy Newman from 1968. Vancouver in one sentence over the last 2 weeks.
“Human kindness is overflowing and I think it’s going to rain today.”
Did this in bits and pieces but finally done. Nancy Slater, formerly of K-Rock for those in Kingston posted this on her MySpace blog.
“Think of 15 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that no matter what they were thought of musically shaped your world.”
“This was NOT easy. There have been so many albums that have come into my life over the years. Some only for a short while, but they still had a profound effect on how I listened to and enjoyed music. Below is a list of the ones I seem to return to again and again, or that for a brief moment in time served the purpose of just pure musical enjoyment.”
All right now my list. I eliminated anything from Salt Water Music, since I’m smart enough not to go down that road. I’d forget a CD, hurt someone’s feelings, get complaints…. so I’m going with older stuff.
This list is stuff I picked up in my college days or earlier. Might not be the best I have but stuff I remember picking up. Or some story behind it.
1. Lionel Ritchie, Can’t Slow Down
Got this on cassette tape when I was 5. So cut me some slack. It was the early 80’s and this one was all over the radio. All Night Long is still catchy though. I looked up the album and found out it only had 8 songs on it. Really?
2. Stevie Wonder, In Square Circle
Picked up the new Stevie Wonder cassette [yep those things again] in 1985. On the cover he’s sitting in front of a record. Records were these things… oh nevermind. Not the most memorable Stevie Wonder record, but I remember getting it.
3. Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms
Great album. And one of the first things I ever got on CD.
Dire Straits is one of those bands that had more than one hit in the 80’s but they’re not one of the first ones you think of when the decade comes up. But when you throw out their name people remember them.
And the title track has been used a lot on TV. Miami Vice, Due South and West Wing. I’ll go with Miami Vice, since they played almost the entire song in the scene. And I just saw the episode again recently.
You’ll recognize 2 of the actors from different roles. Bruce McGill from Animal House, and near the end is David Strathairn who was up for an Oscar for Good Night and Good luck. Go figure.
4. Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon
Nuff said. It’s Dark Side of the Moon. I can’t say anything new. Except this piece of trivia if you don’t know. How many weeks in a row was it on the U.S. Billboard top 200 charts? 591 consecutive weeks.
You’re thinking ‘that must be a few years’, yes it is. 12 years straight from 1976 to 1988.
5. Metallica, Black Album
Picked it up on cassette [last time that comes up] just for Enter Sandman. One of the only times I picked up something for one song. I really can’t name the other songs off the top of my head. LOL.
6. Nevermind, Nirvana
Someone online described this pretty well, one that killed off Hair Metal in one fell swoop. True.
7. Pink Floyd, Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980–81
Got this in college in Ottawa and listened to it in one sitting. HMV had the deluxe version for $25 soon after it came out. Always thought it was a mistake the staff did so I grabbed it up. The end of the most well known Pink Floyd lineup.
Richard Wright was fired from the band by Waters. Reasons differ depending on who you talk to. But Richard stuck around for this tour. Ironically, since he had a fixed salary he was the only member of the band who made money from the concerts. The rest had to cover the cost overruns.
I always liked the live feel of this. Most will go with the studio version. But this has a link to my college days in Ottawa. So this wins.
8. Blue Rodeo: Five Days in July, Nowhere to Here, Tremolo
I count this as one. Because they were 3 albums in a row they put out and I got each soon after they came out. They’re all linked in my head, even though they’re all different.
Nowhere to Here is underrated. More rock than their other CD’s. Tonne of people have Five Days in July which is more acoustic. Tremolo is in between. But the back to back on Tremolo of Brother André’s Heart and Frogs’ Lullaby is great. Tracks you would never hear on radio. Well I might play them but you know what I mean.
9. U2, Joshua Tree.
Big U2 fan, and I have a ticket for Skydome in September. When it comes to picking one I have to go with Joshua Tree. Sidenote, I still stick up for Pop. Maybe because I bought it in Placentia when I was back in Newfounland one summer. Buying a CD where you born does make it memorable. But I liked how they went out on a limb with that disc.
But it has to be Joshua Tree. Especially when you take in consideration the first 5 tracks on it. This is a stellar lineup when you hit play.
Where the Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, With or Without You, Bullet the Blue Sky and Running to Stand Still. Impressive. Those 5 songs are still played on U2 tours to this day.
10. Peter Gabriel, So
Lots of great songs on here. For me Sledgehammer was one of my favorite songs of the 80’s. When I went on my first driving lesson in the 90’s I turned on the radio and Sledgehammer was playing. Cool, if a bit eerie.
Nancy pointed out In Your Eyes, which was a huge song.
“I don’t know too many gals my age that don’t instantly think of John Cusack holding that ghettoblaster above his head in Say Anything while blasting In Your Eyes by Gabriel.”
Great movie by the way. Ending is well done. Doesn’t wrap up everything in a neat tidy bow. Which was how most 80’s movie ended.
11. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue
Picked this up in college along with the next one. That PBS Jazz series was on and that got me to pick this up. Another one that has had a lot written about it. Amazing.
Once I listened to this, it made me picky about music for about a week. “that song is horrible” went through my head for a while when I heard most stuff on the radio. 🙂
12. Dave Brubeck, Take Five
This and Kind of Blue both came out in 1959. Good year for Jazz. Picked this one since I always like ‘Take Five’ which has been used a lot over the years. Movies, commercials, etc. Other tracks you don’t hear used as often but they’re great.
13. Bruce Springsteen, 18 Tracks
Easy to go with other Springsteen albums. But I’m going with a curveball. Another college disc and it had The Fever and The Promise which hadn’t been released before.
And the original version of Born in the USA, from 1983. Exact same lyrics, shows you how music can change what you think about a song. People thought it was a patriotic song. It’s about Vietnam vets and about a man’s brother who got killed overseas. That’s not a rah-rah song by any means.
14. Stevie Ray Vaughan : Greatest Hits Volume 2.
Always liked SRV from radio airplay. But picking this up I found Riveria Paradise, Lenny and his cover of Voodoo Child. Got me more into SRV so that’s why it is on here. I have the boxset with an 11 minute version of Voodoo Child from Carnegie Hall. Great stuff but this is much easier to get a hold of.
15. This one is for reader comments. Think of one you remember really well.
Thanks to Nancy Slater for writing her blog in the first place. She just left the radio business after 17 years. Remember her on K-Rock when I moved back to Kingston. Ahhh, the good ole days.
One of the first surprises with the internet I had in Kingston was finding out Nancy was also the music director of K-Rock. I listened to the station more back then. So kudos to Nancy, since I’m sure she was the reason. 🙂
From MySpace it looks like she’s back in Kingston. Which means I’m on the radio in Kingston and Nancy isn’t. That is weird.
Feel free to give your album picks. I’ll take the comments and put them together in a post later in the week.
And I’m done for the night after that long post.