This from the Calgary Herald and I couldn't have said it any better:
If there was a gold medal for premature Winter Olympic whining, the British would be perennial occupants of the middle podium.
Right on schedule, that would be the fourth of 17 event days, U.K. scribes have written off the Vancouver Olympics as a "worst-ever" Games in the making, an "abomination" for causing the death of a luger and an organizational "fiasco" for slow buses and venue meltdowns.
Don't take it personally, Vancouver. The boys of former Fleet Street took mere days to write off Calgary in 1988 before it went on to earn the International Olympic Committee's "best-ever Games" seal of approval.
You think waiting a minute for most of the four-legged Olympic cauldron to rise out of the B.C. Place floor was a disaster? Well, you can only image how the Brits frothed when a giant inflatable mountain range popped like a balloon in a blustery wind just an hour before the opening ceremonies in Calgary.
That was just the beginning. They belittled the ATCO trailer media village, bemoaned their lost laundry and, yes, jeered when snow had to be trucked in to bolster cross-country trails in Canmore. All in the first week.
Vanoc was putting on a brave face to the outbreak of hostile international media reaction, which is spreading into a foreign frenzy pile-on. "Is this the worst beginning of a Games ever?" one journalist baited officials yesterday. And, pray tell, what answer was he expecting? Yes?
There's no obvious explanation for why London reporters are the most caustic of the contingent, having elevated Vancouver-bashing into an unofficial Olympic sport.
Perhaps they're dreadfully bored. After all, the BBC alone has more personnel at the Games than the kingdom's entire 52-member sports team. There's also dispiriting news that bookies back home predict the U.K. will experience a medal shutout in Vancouver, with only an outside shot at the curling podium.
Sadly for them, this time they have no sports hero like the one they giddily covered in Calgary. You should have seen those hard-nosed scribes swarming a clown on skis, that being lovable British ski jumper Eddie the Eagle, in 1988.
Even so, the coverage this time is decidedly edgier and the shots cheaper. Guardian columnist Martin Samuel went over-the-top postal in his attack in the aftermath of the luge fatality. "Canada wanted to Own The Podium," he snarled. "This morning they can put their Maple Leaf stamp on something more instantly tangible: The nondescript little box carrying the lifeless body of Nodar Kumaritashvili back to his home in Bakuriani, Georgia." Good grief.
Other U.K reporters predict financial disaster for Vancouver, a defensive move given that London's 2012 Summer Olympics are already $1.8-billion over budget.
They complain of heavy-handed customs officials and no-nonsense security, which is a tad rich for a future Games host where police will have the right to enter homes without a warrant and Olympic officials can storm residences or enterprises near Games venues to search for protest material. Then, of course, there's Britain's greatest invention for preserving public safety -- the new shatterproof beer pint glass.
It's also instructive to put all the hysterical fretting at Vancouver's warm weather into context. The temperature at 2014 Winter Olympic host Sochi, Russia, will reach 11 C degrees today and 13 C degrees tomorrow.Sigh. This silly war of trans-Atlantic words will continue if British journalists continue their campaign to maliciously malign a Games that is barely 100 hours old.
Perhaps it's a genetic disposition. After all, Utrecht University in the Netherlands recently found 40 per cent of British men suffer from a premature tendency which, unfortunately for them and their partners, is medically defined as an inability to last more than a minute in bed.
Oops, sorry. Now that is a cheap shot.