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Tuesday, 16 February 2010
The problem with the media is that its function is the message - it needs news, and if it doesn't have a feed, will stir the pot to make one bubble up. So it is with the British media and Vancouver 2010. The ongoing demonisation of the games - the virtual garlanding with tragedy's albatross - stems largely from the fact that Team GB is not currently doing well in the medals table. I find it to be negligent to report more on a pre-games accident than on the fact that athletes from many nations are daily striving and winning in good faith and with alacrity and poise. The charge, made in the Independent the other day, that Canada's winter athletes have an unfair home advantage, having had more time than foreign competitors to train, is absurd - all host nations have such advantages - and, given Canada's only recently assuaged drought of home-won gold - it is a dubious advantage at that. The luge death was a terrible accident. It is true the poles were in a bad place, and the track was very fast. But given the demands of the sport to be fast - and the fact that all dangerous sports are dangerous - it seems time to mourn the athlete, and let the living athletes also receive their due.