Wednesday, October 13, 2010

An Oral History Of The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics: Part One

Brad Zellar: I remember we were watching the Opening Ceremonies and I turned to Ralph Meers and said, "So now everybody has to come up with some version of the Flying Guy? I mean how many versions of the Flying Guy can there possibly be?" And then there were people with lights all over their bodies.

Ralph Meers: Mr. Zellar just kept saying, "Good God!" Several times I encouraged him to turn off the television.

Brad Zellar: It was painful listening to Bob Costas and his flunkies trying desperately to provide color commentary on all that monkey business. I actually felt sorry for them and kept imagining them smashing their heads with clipboards and saying a lot of things that included versions of the word "fuck" during commercial breaks for Chicken McNuggets. I actually thought I might die when they trotted out the bearded, beret-wearing "slam poet" "discovered on YouTube." I doubt that anyone will ever forget --or perhaps remember-- his rambling poetic tribute to Canada, delivered with the obligatory hand flourishes and awkward sort of Tai Chi movements. He was a beefy Canuck, so I don't think it's unfair to say that he wasn't particularly graceful.

Ralph Meers: Mr. Zellar was increasingly agitated, so I would occasionally leave the room. But then he would inevitably bellow and summon me back. He would shout things like, "Oh, my God, get in here, Meers, now there are a bunch of ragamuffins doing some sort of clog dance in logging boots!" At one point I ate a grapefruit. Mr. Zellar mentioned that he was not "a grapefruit sort of guy."

Brad Zellar: Some white guy got up there and said, "Tonight the longest domestic torch relay in human history arrives in this stadium, inspiring the kind of magic and awe that touches millions of hearts all over the world and causes dreams and imaginations to soar." Something awful like that. Then there were displays of aboriginal people in various native costumes. Then, as always, the French geezer had the final word, babbling in virtually unintelligible English, and then fucking k.d. lang sang "Hallelujah." and I wanted to throw something at her. Something heavy.

Ralph Meers: A lot of the female mogul skiers were cute as a button, and I observed that many of the speed skaters looked like eccentric old gentlemen in age-inappropriate clothing out for a brisk stroll. It also occurred to me that one didn't tend to see so many spectacular wipeouts in the summer olympics.

Brad Zellar: I'm prepared to swear that I saw a female Russian figure skater hock a big loogey while being spun around in the air by her partner, a fellow who was wearing a costume that suggested a bluebird that had been ravaged by a fighting cock.

Ralph Meers: At one point Mr. Zellar inquired, "Who the hell are these paunchy geezers, Meers?" To which I replied, "That, sir, is Rascal Flatts." "That or they?" Zellar asked. "That," I said.

Brad Zellar: It remains my opinion that the ice dancers are murderers of the Olympic spirit. There is no gulag harsh enough for them, nor for the buffoons who design their costumes and choreograph their routines. No man should have to watch a rousing game of ice hockey and then sit through a half dozen ice dancing routines.

Ralph Meers: While we were watching the snow boarders Mr. Zellar declared, "There is nothing I can do about it, Meers, I am highly suggestible." And then he dispatched me to McDonald's to fetch some Chicken McNuggets.


  1. I've been obsessed with the song "Hallelujah" for some weeks, so it's curious you should mention it. I friend of mine was watching the last Olympics and for some reason they had Wayne Newton on stage covering a k.d. lang song, which he thought odd. "Why is Wayne Newton singing a k.d. lang song?" he asked, when it hit him: That IS k.d. lang!

  2. My youngest and I argued for some time over that kd lang appearance.

    Me: I love that song, but I hate the way she's doing it.
    Youngest: You mean the way HE's doing it.
    Me: She.
    Youngest: HE, Mom. The guy in the white suit.
    Me: She. The woman in the white suit.


  3. This is lovely, Zellar Man. Where do you draw the line with damn ice dancing type phenomena? Why not regular dancing in the summer games? And there are different kinds of dancing....and singing, too. Nutso...