Vancouver Olympics Opening Day Media Centre Updates

Some Media Centre Reminders:
–The Media Centre is open from breakfast to a sensible bedtime every day except Sunday mornings, when it is open immediately after church.
–Our American media representative guests in the Media Centre are kindly requested to keep their voices down.
–Only Official Hop-On-Hop-Off 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics toboggans are piloted by Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers (fur hats).
–The R.C.M.P. Musical Toboggan Ride will be part of the Olympic Games closing ceremonies. Don’t miss it!
Correction: The Consul General of Spain has asked that on page 206, paragraph 3 of the Official 2010 Vancouver Olympics Media Handbook, in the Spanish Olympic Luge Team section, “inept beginners” in line 5 be changed to “eager neophytes.” In the following sentence, please delete “…a cinch for dead last in a field of one.”  We hope this removes any potential offence to our fine guests from “fair Andalusia.” We don’t know how that got in there! (Secret Basque sympathizer?) The Vancouver Winter Olympic Games Fairness in Media Commission will meet in October to consider this and other theories as it begins debating its official preliminary report.
       In other words – “We’re on it!” 
–The Media Centre has a strict rule against smoking anywhere in the facility, but it is not that strictly enforced.

–Have You Heard That: It’s illegal in Canada to eat a sled dog?
        The first Canadian to win a Winter Olympic Games bronze medal had dual American citizenship?
        According to the Bureau of Geology/ Bureau de Geologie, Canada does not have a single tungsten mine?   
–Etiquette Tip: as a courtesy to your host nation, please use the spelling Media “Centre,” and not Media “Center,” in all written references. Please also use the Canadian spelling for “labour,” “colour,” “defence” and “offence.”
        These may seem to be “tremendous trivia,” but they mean a lot to us. Thanks in advance!
–On a Serious Note: while we recognize that a free press is important and freedom of speech the cornerstone of a democratic society, if you could just bear in mind in your reporting that Celine Dion jokes may hurt some Canadians’ feelings, it would be nice.
–Writing a “personality profile” on a Canadian Winter Olympic athlete? Please notify the Media Centre when you are finished, so that we can send a copy to his/her parents.
   P.S., Postage is on us!
 Scheduling Note:     
       Presentation of the Sir Waldo Mackerel Cup to the Most Gracious Loser in the Winter Games will be held seven days after the conclusion of the Games to allow the winner enough time to “buck up.” 

–Did You Know That:
             Canadians are just as bothered by cold weather as Americans are?
             The late zany Hollywood actor Don Knotts was almost born in Canada?                                                          

— Who Would Have Thought That:
            British Columbia, the province hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics, is not actually in Britain? (See the free two-hour video  “British Columbia, Modestly Proud – At Least We Like to Think!,” running continuously in the Lord Beaverbrook Room on the basement level.)

Just a reminder to all guest foreign journalists: Today is the last chance to enter your freehand drawing of a maple leaf for the chance to win a roll of genuine NHL hockey stick tape. See your volunteer hotel hall matron (blue touque) for details.                                                    

 Not to “hassle” our guests, but the Hospitality Team (white toques) have asked us
again to request that if you can, please try to settle those outstanding “bar tabs” before leaving Canadian jurisidiction.                                                    
Closing Ceremonies:  “Hats Off to Ice” cube-making contest is now “M-M-M Maple Syrup Tasting”… Quebec Habitant Folk Songs sing-along (in French only)… Torchlight tribute to Dr. Alexander Fleming’s discovery of Penicillin… Synchronized “Cavalcade of Wheat” by Flin Flon Corps de Ice Ballet… And not to annoy you with too many reminders, but don’t forget to stay for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Toboggan Ride.

Bruce McCall is a New York artist and writer whose work frequently appears in the New Yorker and Vanity Fair.