By G.D. Maxwell
Faster, Higher, More contentious than an ethnic joke at a Brotherhood convention. If this is 2002, the Olympics must be on the agenda. This is the year the ghostly visage of Vancouvers 2010 Olympic bid begins to show its shape. This is the year the long awaited public consultation finally takes place. This is the year we get an early glimpse of who the winners and losers are likely to be. This is the year Whistler council rolls the dice and hopes the soporific electorate doesnt turn Novembers election into a crapshoot on how theyve handled the issue so far.
Let the games begin.
Unlike the other contentious issues this town grapples with on a seemingly endless basis affordability, sustainability, growth limits, to name three of the more interesting ones you cant sleep through this one. Apathy is not an option. If the bids going to be successful, its going to take a huge commitment. The reality of the Games in 2010 is going to touch every life in the valley for years before and forever after. If the bids going to be thwarted, it likewise is going to take the concerted efforts of everyone who honestly believes its a bad idea that should have been stillborn. "None of the above" isnt an option this time around.
Thats not to say this is the day you have to choose which side youre on. Im not even sure how anyone could have made a firm decision about whether theyre for or against, given the vacuum of information weve had to consider.
Since this is a topic thats likely to keep creeping onto this page, I might as well show my own cards up front. Im skeptical whoa, theres a shocking revelation but open to persuasive arguments. Whenever Im skeptical about a tough subject, I like to visit with one of my old teachers, have a spirited exchange of questions and hopefully cast new light into dark corners.
Max: So, who benefits from the Olympics?
Socrates: The highest level answer is, Whistler benefits. The Olympics will bring world-wide exposure, tourists into the next millennium, instant name recognition. 62 per cent of the worlds population watched some part of the Sydney Olympics and they werent even in the right hemisphere.
Max: Okay, lets assume for a moment Whistler needs the exposure, an assumption well probably come back to later. The fact is, these arent the Whistler Olympics; theyre going to be the Vancouver Olympics. They will forever be known as the Vancouver Olympics. Whos going to remember Whistler is where the skiing events took place? Know what I mean? For example, how many of the skiing venues can you name at the Salt Lake City Olympics?