03-03-2010, 08:58 PM
landry fields forever
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Living in a van down by the river
American Journalist compares Canada to Nazi Germany
After a spirited torch relay ignited pride in every corner of the country, the Olympic Games began and quickly galvanized the nation.
Flags were everywhere. The country's national symbol hung from windows and was worn on nearly everyone's clothing.
Fervent crowds cheered every victory by the host nation.
But enough about the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
At the opening of these Olympic Winter Games more than two weeks ago, Vancouver organizers expressed the hope that they could show the world a truly "Canadian Games."
That they succeeded in that, there is little doubt.
For 17 days we were barraged with Canadian flags, rode buses and trains with people in sweatshirts and jerseys adorned with Canadian maple leafs, and were serenaded at venues by Canadian spectators, lustily cheering for Canadian athletes.
There was embracing, all right, but then Canadians have always had the reputation for drinking a lot of beer. The loose marijuana laws only added to the nightly revelry in the downtown streets -- which, frankly, seemed to have little to do with the Olympics.
Canada wanted to hold a party, and the Canadians did. The gold medals only seemed to fuel them.
Team Canada hockey jerseys became the uniform of the streets. Maple leafs were either hanging or on clothing everywhere.
One thing I never saw: a simple flag or shirt with the five Olympic rings. Not anywhere. After 15 Olympics, that was a first.
I didn't attend the '36 Olympics, but I've seen the pictures. Swastikas everywhere.
No political reference is meant, just an Olympic one. What on earth were the Canadians thinking?
An Olympic host is supposed to welcome the world. This one was too busy being (their word) "patriotic."
"Now you know us, eh?" chief organizer Furlong said.
We thought we did two weeks ago. Now, I'm wondering if Canadians can even recognize themselves.
Nice party. But so 1936.