Photo: February 17, 2010
This old-school Zamboni (left) was shunned by the Vancouver Olympics in favor of the eco-friendly Olympia (right) until the Games needed an ice resurfacer that, you know, worked.
If you wanna hear the Olympic Gods laugh, tell them your plans for the day. Opening ceremonies malfunction, check. Not enough snow on the slopes, check. Too much snow on the slopes, check. And brand new for this week, faulty ice cleaning machines! Now would be a good time to fly in some lucky 21-leaf clovers to Vancouver.
The Olympia ice resurfacers have caused delays in speedskating not once, but twice over the past few days at the Richmond Olympic Oval. The first mishap came on Sunday when one machine stalled and created a rough patch near the finish line of women's 3,000-meter, while the second incident took place during the men's 500-meter event as two different resurfacers broke down and caused a 66-minute delay. Vancouver, Daytona International Speedway feels your pain.
To resolve the ongoing issues, the Olympic Committee trucked in a Zamboni from Calgary. Unlike the Zamboni brought in for the 2009 NHL Winter Classic, this one arrived accident-free. Why not use a Zamboni from the start? The Olympia resurfacers are electrically-powered and the Olympic Committee was aiming for an eco-friendly games in 2010. Also, when the propane-powered Zambonis malfunction they don't stall ... they blow up (which seems inevitable the way these Olympics are going thus far).
With the closing ceremonies scheduled for February 28th (non-catastrophic events permitting) there's more than enough time for some other outrageous obstacles to occur. So, what other possible snafus could cause delays? What about:
- A gun control protest on the day of the Biathlon.
- A roller coaster tycoon builds a loop in the ski jump in the middle of the night.
- Sasquatch is spotted in the nearby woods and claims to be the representative from Paraguay.
- Bob Costas gets laryngitis and John Madden is brought in to cover the Olympics ... only he travels via the Madden bus and doesn't arrive until February 25th.
- Tim Hortons announces they will be moving all of their franchises out of Canada and into the U.S.
- The Vancouver Canucks announce they are following the Grizzlies to Memphis.