Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Moment Where Vancouver Became The World's Laughing Stock

For very good reason, NBC and the IOC are currently purging YouTube of the major embarrassment this evening in Vancouver.

You have one chance to get it right. One chance to leave an indelible mark on the world with a beautiful torch lighting. One moment to get it right. 4 spires are supposed to rise out of the ground while a cauldron descends from the air to create an awe-inspiring scene followed by 4 of Canada's finest athletes lighting the spires on fire to set off the cauldron. It's supposed awe-inspiring. It's supposed to be memorable.

Too bad there was a mechanical failure.


After a very long delay, only 3 of the 4 spires rose, thus leaving a rather oblonged looking cauldron with 3 of 4 athletes lighting the torch and poor Catriona LeMay Doan left alone while Nancy Greene, Steve Nash, and Wayne Gretzky got to have some fun. Gretzky would go on to have more fun and light the exterior torch all alone. That one did go off without a hitch and Canadians will be staring at a flawless outdoor torch for the next 2 weeks. And while I am sure NBC and the IOC would like to forget tonight's embarrassing torch lighting failure, it will be ingrained in the memories of all those who saw it for quite some time.

And thus, because of the awkward minutes created when the spires were not initially rising, we have the above-pictured GretzkyFace. Beware Peyton Manning. GretzkyFace is a force to be messed with.

One chance to make an impression in front of a worldwide audience......FAIL!

(I'd have a video up, but none exists for the time being. YouTube vids are leaving left and right and NBC has nothing on their site as they a). don't want the embarrassing and awkward footage ever seen again and/or b). they are holding out until the west coast sees the Canadian city to the north of them become the world's laughing stock. If NBC does grow a set and posts it, I'll have a link up to where you can watch the awkwardness tomorrow night as I will not be around at all during the day.)

Update: It appears as if the revisionist history is already underway. Not only do they not have a video of the screw-up and not only is not mentioned in the article about the ceremony, but they have changed the facts! Check this out from NBC's Olympics page.

The Opening Ceremony was climaxed with the Olympic cauldron being lit jointly by four Canadian sports heroes -- all-time hockey great Wayne Gretzky, skier Nancy Greene, speedskater Katrina LeMay Doan, basketball All-Star Steve Nash and Paralympian Rick Hansen.
The one spire did not rise and thus Doan never got a chance to light the cauldron. And on the night when NBC showed the footage of the accident that led to the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili over and over again (even having that video readily available on their website), to not acknowledge a mechanical failure is quite astounding.


  1. Yep. These Olympics have EPIC FAIL written all over them.

  2. Wait a minute. The lit the torch in a domed stadium? BC Place is like the Metrodome, IIRC? I'm guessing it was just for the show?

    /Reading Comprehension Fail

  3. Really do you expect anything else Justin? This is the same network that bungled Leno/Conan, tape delay the West Coast Feed, and their primetime TV has gone in the shit hole. I wouldn't expect anything else!

  4. Not too epic FAIL.

    Epic FAIL is when none of those 4 rises up.

    But yeah someone is getting fired after that one.

  5. @ kt: Yep. They lit a torch inside BC Place, a stadium similar to the Metrodome as you said, for show and then had Gretzky go outside and light the real one that will be visible for the next 2 weeks.

    And you're right. These Olympics have not gotten off to a flying start.

    @ 49er16: Well the accident itself was not NBC;s fault, but the only way you can watch the video of the Opening Ceremonies is to have an account with a cable company. Guess what? I am at a college with Service Electric Cable (not an option at NBC's site) and I don't have access to my dad's DirecTV account. However, there is no highlights video of the torch lighting. What a coincidence.

    @ SSR: I hope the Opening Ceremonies committee has a little more competency than NBC and the guy who messed up does get fired. Now if it were NBC in charge of that, the screw-up would currently be in negotiations for a promotion....

  6. Does that cauldron look phallic? I swear the '04 cauldron in Athens looked like the world's largest joint of marijuana.

  7. @ JC: Not really, no. At least I don't see anything overly phallic about it.


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