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2010 Olympics Business News for the Vancouver and Whistler regions of British Columbia. Plus, Alberta, the rest of Canada, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Montana & California

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If San Francisco can do this, Vancouver can too!


Published January 25 2009

Barack Obama's Recipe - Humble Grateful Mindful
Add a dash of accountability and saute until golden brown

U.S. President Barack Obama began his inauguration speech with the sentiment we should all strive to be humble, grateful and mindful, and I can't agree more. He did however miss one very important ingredient.

We must also be accountable.

Accountability is also one of the ingredients missing from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics recipe. Now that we are only a year away from launch most people can see that VANOC, politicians, and local news media are not accountable and not acting in our community's best interest.

If 2010 is going to be a success, it has to be a success for everyone and not just Olympic corporate sponsors and suppliers like Coca Cola, Petro Canada, and The Vancouver Sun.

In a swirl of necessary illusion everyone appears to be acting and reporting in a responsible manner, but if you look close you'll see they are choosing their words very carefully and doing little more than going through the motions. It's not good enough, and it's not accountable.

Take The Vancouver Sun for example. The other day, January 23 2009, they ran a HUGE red ink front page headline screaming that 2010 Olympic costs were out of control. Daphne Bramham penned the piece claiming, and rightly so, 2010 costs were $6 BILLION.

I love Bramham. In fact I've supported her for a long time and think she's probably the smartest journalist at The Sun. She's the writer who has been warning us for years about polygamy in Bountiful BC., and is head and shoulders above everyone, even Miro Cernetig in most respects.

Bramham is fearless. I wrote quite a while ago that her bosses should give her more face time on the front page and that I'd like to see her writing more about the 2010 Olympics. Well my dream came true, unfortunately it's way too late. Bramham definitely hit the mark about Olympic spending being out of control, but the reality is that everyone who has been reading this blog and paying attention already knows it.

Our community needed Bramham to warn readers about hidden cost issues and bad planning years ago when it was possible to actually do something about it. Telling us today the milk is spilled certainly sends everyone scurrying for a towel to mop up the mess, but the milk is all over the floor, and it's too late to prevent the glass from being knocked over.

Yes, Bramham appears to be a responsible member of our community and a good writer, but by no stretch can her actions be interpreted as accountable. She's basically just another employee at a newspaper whose industry is about to hit the wall.

Bramham watched the 2010 train barrel down the tracks and only shouted loud enough after it creamed our community into a coma.

The Vancouver Sun is "using Daphne Bramham" to make it look like they care. I fully realize Bramham is trapped in the middle, and I'd like to be able to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I can't because she has proven time and again she is smart and tough enough to make sure the information was disseminated in a timely manner and in a frequency that would have made a difference, and she didn't.

Too many reporters look away to protect their jobs.

The optics are good, but that's not accountable.

Just a reminder to everyone - Canwest, the parent company of The Vancouver Sun (Bramham's employer), is an official sponsor/supplier for 2010, and is well paid by the IOC to tell the Olympic side of the Olympic story. Warning our community years ago in a timely manner might have jeopardized the relationship between The Sun and VANOC, but it would have been the right and ethical thing to do.

I know it. You know it, and Bramham knows it.

Timing is everything.


2010 Athlete's Village Financial Fiasco Grows Deeper
Some of us saw it coming for a very long time, unfortunately
local mainstream news media remained conveniently blind.

Published January 16 2009

While Rome burns in 2010 Vancouver, and media fans the flame, Olympic overrun issues get murkier and more convoluted.

The Athletes Village financial fiasco is top-of-mind for everyone recently now that newspapers and television are bludgeoning the issue to death. It stuns me it took local mainstream news media so long to address loan issues, especially considering we've written about the hidden cost factor in extensive depth at since 2006.

For clarity, I'm Pro-Olympics - with a twist, which means I love the sporting aspect of the Games, but I hate the politics.

I tried for years to have local mainstream news media investigate inconsistencies regarding the ramp up to 2010, but for the most part they looked the other way and accused me of "tilting at windmills."

Jeff Lee, a reporter at The Vancouver Sun, a guy who dubs himself OlympicReporter on Twitter is incensed with me over my blogging about his reporting of the 2010 Olympics.

Lee and I have history. He gets upset when I critique his work, but instead of debating with me rationally and making an effort to prove me wrong, he takes it personally and sends snide messages attacking my credibility, which I suppose he feels is his only option because my research is rock-solid and leaves little wiggle room. read more »


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The video below was taped two days
before the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

It becomes even more relevant each passing day.

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Own the Podium?

The official creed (guiding principle) of the Olympics is a quote by the founding father of the modern day Games Baron de Coubertin. He said, "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

The Olympic motto consists of three Latin words Citius, Altius, Fortius, which means, "Swifter, Higher, Stronger." The 1924 motto is meant to encourage athletes to embrace the Olympic spirit and perform to the best of their individual abilities.

No where does it imply that winning the most gold medals for your country is part of the agenda. In fact it implies exactly the opposite.

The IOC maintains that it doesn't actively encourage countries to collectively win the most gold medals, but on the other hand they also don't institute anything to ensure that the Games are not turned into corporate money grabs.

In fact, IOC sponsorship and partnership business models encourage a win-at-all-costs mentality. It is the reason they have doping, fraud and bribery scandals.

The IOC invites young people to compete in the Olympics using the original Creed & Motto. But when it comes to delivering on the promise they fall incredibly short.

The Olympics today isn't as much about sport as it is about money and profit.

Priorities changed over the years and so too should their Creed & Motto.

If athletes go for the gold, and the IOC goes for the gold, and corporate sponsors go for the gold, and governments go for the gold, and considering that you will have to foot the bill for their gold, why should you be edged out of the race?

Move to the starting line.

Own the Podium?
Own Your Home?

Real journalism consists of
what someone doesn't want published,
all the rest is public relations."
George Orwell

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