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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 9:09 AM
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Olympic rings coming to Coal Harbour

From the Vancouver Sun:

Quote:
Olympic party begins with rings going out to sea

BY MIRO CERNETIG, VANCOUVER SUN

OCTOBER 4, 2009

The Olympic rings are the jealously guarded trademark and international symbol of the 2010 Winter Games. The International Olympic Committee won't let you plant those five famous rings just anywhere.

For a year now, Vancouver Olympic organizers have been searching for the right spot. What is the most public, jaw-dropping yet safest location in the city to place the icons? Atop the North Shore mountains, fastened to the Lions Gate Bridge or perhaps high above a building downtown where the massive crowds will be in February?

It's finally been decided -- the rings are going to sea instead.

More precisely, they're going to be put on a barge and anchored in the middle of Coal Harbour, where they will have Stanley Park and the North Shore mountains as their backdrop.

There's a reason for this beyond the nice scenery, though. The rings will not only remain safely inside the Olympics' security buffer, they will also be unreachable by land and guarded by the military divers and security patrols sealing off the harbour. It means little chance of the rings being hijacked as a stage or prop by protesters -- unless one of them can swim out to the barge undetected, an unlikely event with a $1-billion security operation in place.

It wasn't a decision reached without contentious debate.

There was talk of putting the rings -- which are identical copies of those outside the airport -- on top of the new convention centre. But they were determined to be too heavy. Then it was thought the rings ought to be erected on the boardwalk near the convention centre, where the international media will be working during the games. But NBC, the main media sponsor, balked at the idea, not wanting anything sticking up in the foreground to spoil the wilderness scenery for its carefully choreographed TV cameras.

Further complicating the decision was the unhappiness on the part of General Electric, a major Olympic sponsor. It wasn't impressed when it discovered the technology used to light the rings at night wasn't its own but rather from a small competitor. Not the best way to brand yourself.

But after months of wrangling, the decision has finally been made. The rings will be barged out to Coal Harbour on the day the Olympic Clock in downtown Vancouver flashes 100 days to go before the Games begin. The opening, incidentally, is exactly 129 days from today.

It's another small sign -- along with the giant Canadian flag pasted onto the Hotel Georgia last week -- that the Olympic buzz, in short supply up to now, is starting to intensify.

In the next few days, the City of Vancouver will announce the details of its Olympic celebration site near David Lam Park. It will also announce it is extending bar hours during the Games, to try to generate a party atmosphere in the city.

Alas, it won't quite be the "white nights" of Torino, site of the 2006 Winter Games, where the town stayed open 24 hours a day to party. But there are plans to shake Vancouver's "no-fun" image by at least extending closing time for an extra hour or two across the city and supplying extended public transit service for revellers to get home.

There's also going to be more news in the next few days about the celebrities who will be coming, many to entertain at BC Place Stadium and the free live sites where tens of thousands of people are expected to gather. Top of the list is Canadian pop diva Celine Dion, who has quietly offered to perform for free, likely at the Opening Ceremony.

Security is being prepared for international VIPs, too. Some of the world's top business leaders will be coming to town. There are also at least three dozen world leaders and heads of state who will fly into Vancouver.

Two of most anticipated seem to be off the list, though.

The Queen is giving the Games a pass. She'll dispatch Gov.-Gen. Michaelle Jean instead, though her majesty is considering a trip to Vancouver in the spring. It's also expected that U.S. President Barack Obama, who saw his hopes of Chicago hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics dashed by Rio de Janeiro last week, will likely stay at home.

Too bad for them. Vancouver, finally, seems to be getting into the Olympic mood.

Let the partying begin.

mcernetig@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
BY MIRO CERNETIG, VANCOUVER SUN
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 9:39 AM
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Interesting..
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 5:05 PM
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I was always hoping for the Lion's Gate, but this is an excellent choice. It's definitely the glamour view . I don't hang out in Coal Harbour . . . it often seems too sterile to me. But I walk there for the views of the mountains on occasion, and I always make sure to take first time visitors there for a drink or dinner at Lift or Cardozas, or at least a stroll along the park there. It's the backdrop of the North Shore mountains that makes me - and often the guest - say, "Wow, this is amazing."

So I can picture the Rings placed in that setting perfectly. It will make for some great photos . . . here's hoping we get at least a few clear days

My only question is where they'll be in relation to the Chevron . . . I'm assuming the rings will sit closer to Stanley Park, but it needs to have a pretty wide berth from the Chevron so it's not visually cluttered. And it can't be too close in to land if they're still going to have the ships and harbour tour cruises actually heading out from the mouth of Coal Harbour. Then again, I never actually thought about the security parameters of Coal Harbour, with all the attention on False Creek. Maybe they are limiting access there as well.

Still think Grouse Mountain would have been ideal, though I appreciate they wanted to avoid the "We can't really see the rings due to the cloud cover," statement being broadcasted around the world in dozens of languages .
     
     
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 5:29 PM
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So much news from this one article....massive floating rings, Celine Dion....all awesome.

How big will these rings be? That Chevron is going to be a pretty big distraction.
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 5:34 PM
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Evidently, TwoFace had the drop on this last week...

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Anyone knows what’s going on here. Is it a Chevron expansion, a new gas station or none of the above?.
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 5:42 PM
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Indeed - the spacing of the pilings looks the same/similar to the YVR rights. Pilings into the seabed it would look much better than if they really were on a barge. But why so close to the Chevron barge?


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  #7  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 5:56 PM
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So predictably boring. Don't get me started about VANOC. So driven to control costs, eliminate risk, etc., that they've forgotten that we're embarking on a multi billion dollar marketing campaign of which we still have to make the most of.

These games were a golden opportunity for the city to really step forward and present a new face. Instead, they're behaving just as you'd expect them to. Safe, predictable, boring.
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 6:12 PM
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^ so what's your idea? where should they have placed it that would be so much better? i think it's perfect. love the idea that it's over water too.

regarding the chevron station - won't they have to move it out of the security zone? it's right in the middle of it. how will boats access it if they don't?
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 6:20 PM
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Ok, I actually have to chuckle at myself. It never occurred to me that they might be able to move the Chevron for the Games. Is that really possible? I've just never considered it.

As for the pylons, it's an interesting thought about the rings being set in place instead of on a barge. Not sure about the logistical feasibility, but it's a cool idea. Would make for a nice surprise.

I can't imagine the IOC would allow something that doesn't impress, and though I may sometimes complain , I don't really think Vancouver would either.

I think it will be impressive.
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 7:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delirium View Post
^ so what's your idea? where should they have placed it that would be so much better? i think it's perfect. love the idea that it's over water too.

regarding the chevron station - won't they have to move it out of the security zone? it's right in the middle of it. how will boats access it if they don't?
Either on the North Shore mountain or Lions Gate Bridge would have been far more impactful and better choice than sitting on a floating barge in the water.

It's below eye level, you look down at it, and it has such a temporary feeling about it.

It will be protected by security, but because of the height of it's position and the fact it's on water, I'm sure clever protesters will find ways to hijack the message either adjacent to or behind the rings.
     
     
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 7:18 PM
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Either on the North Shore mountain or Lions Gate Bridge would have been far more impactful and better choice than sitting on a floating barge in the water.
Rings on the North Shore mountains would have to be huge if they are to be visible from Vancouver. Lions Gate bridge would have been cool but I could see that as being a big target for protesters and it's not actually that visible from Vancouver either.
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 7:32 PM
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north shore mountains would have been so cool.... lions gate cool but hard to see from many angles

they should have made a deal with Shangri-la to put one on the top of it for the duration + 100 days.
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  #13  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 7:36 PM
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Who says that this is all they are doing for Olympic ring fixtures?


There's bound to be more, they just haven't announced it.
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 7:37 PM
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i thought there was going to be 5 sets of rings

so there will only be two?
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  #15  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 7:45 PM
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i thought there was going to be 5 sets of rings

so there will only be two?
That's what i thought too, a lot more is coming.
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 7:54 PM
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but where? they've eliminated most of the spots in that article
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  #17  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 8:03 PM
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^ who knows, maybe this is it.

They did warn us a few months ago, before summer, that the look of the Games (i.e. decorations) were going to be substantially cut back to control costs.
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 8:05 PM
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I think it would have been tacky as hell to put them on top of Shangri-La or any building. I suppose it could be done well, but the first thought I'd have is they are trying to identify something as "the Olympic building." It's just a weird juxtaposition . . . and sorta screams, "Look, we're a city!"

I maybe judging the idea too harshly, but that was my instinctive reaction to imagining that.

Would be nice if they plan to put up more. But if you put one in the Harbour, the Grouse Mountain and Lion's Gate bridges almost begin to seem redundant (if you can see both at the same time as you would from *some* viewpoints). I could see something being done in False Creek. If not rings, something visible in the protected part of the water. Is it possible to move something into place, like a floating platform fountain or something like that? Could picture a huge fountain lit with Olympic colours. I realize I'm stretching, but am hoping for a dramatic surprise or two that they don't reveal at all until it comes together.
     
     
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 9:31 PM
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judging by the article, it sounds like these are the only rings we're getting (aside from the ones at YVR).

lions gate would be neat but sydney did that in 2000 and frankly, it's not that original anymore.

i assume it will be lite? how do they get power to it?
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 9:39 PM
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^ well the problem i have with it is that if this is there are only two rings and this is the last one we're getting, this one seems a bit small for Coal Harbour:




I'm guessing they might have generators on the barge....perhaps it could double for fireworks too.


They proposed to install Olympic rings along the sides of the Burrard and Lions Gate Bridge during the bid. They even had renderings, it looked incredible. It's not like Sydney owns the rights to having rings installed on the sides of bridges.
     
     
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