About this Report
Just days into the 2010 Olympics, the press, particularly in Britain, has come out swinging against the Vancouver organizers for a series of glitches, calling the Games cursed, even blaming Canada's quest for gold and its Own the Podium program for the tragic death of Georgia's Nodar Kumaritashvili during a practise run on the luge track. The debate is gathering steam, as both IOC and COC representatives dismiss the criticism, saying the Games have been well-organized, despite the problems.
Read selected quotes from the British press
The Canadian Press compiled this list of quotes from British newspaper websites criticizing the Vancouver Olympics on Tuesday, February 16.
"The team behind the London Olympics are leaving nothing to chance in order to avoid the sort of disasters befalling the Winter Games in Vancouver." Kevin Eason, The Times of London.
"As Vancouver faces up to Games that appear to have been cursed, there is one positive outcome for London. Many believed that London would be overshadowed hopelessly by the glitz of Beijing in 2008, but Vancouver may have provided a buffer of reality that will make whatever London does look like light relief compared with Canada's gloom." Kevin Eason, The Times of London.
"Good news on the medal table is in high demand because the (Vancouver) Games organizers are winning few prizes for the impression that their Olympics are making on the rest of the world." Owen Slot, The Times of London.
"Flushed by the success in the ski moguls of Alexandre Bilodeau, who on Sunday became the first Canadian ever to win Olympic gold on home soil, the national mint announced today it was issuing a commemorative coin to mark the occasion. What chance an enterprising Canadian carpenter is working on a commemorative wooden spoon for the organizers of the 2010 Winter Games?" Lawrence Donegan, The Guardian.
"Most worryingly of all for the organizers in Vancouver, VANOC has failed to quell the growing sense that the 2010 & Winter Olympics will be remembered as something substantially less than a triumph." Lawrence Donegan, The Guardian
"Buses, tickets, food, lavatories, even the mountain itself, have become a logistical failure. In a nutshell it is the manual of how not to run an Olympic Games. What looks good on paper -- hosting the high-flying acrobatic events of snowboard, moguls and aerials so that the distant skyline of the city is visible -- has become an operational scourge." Jacquelin Magnay of the Daily Telegraph discussing Cypress Mountain.
"Memo to London: the spectator experience is important. People need to connect to the Olympics and in Vancouver, where the organizers have hidden the Olympic flame behind a towering security fence, where everyone is charged $22.50 to watch the winners receive their medals and where the queue to buy souvenirs is two blocks long, the goodwill for the Olympics is being undermined." Jacquelin Magnay of the Daily Telegraph
"You may have read of transport chaos in Vancouver, $400,000 worth of tickets recalled because of safety concerns, events postponed and a bob track criticized for its part in a young man's death. You may reasonably conclude from it that these Winter Olympic Games are close to farce, that the red seen everywhere among the crowds is a reflection of official embarrassment. You would be wrong. The passion for their Games is tangible among Canadians. They talk in this most westerly province of this vast country of little else." Neil Wilson, the Daily Mail.