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Ice shavings

Much ado about nothing

The minicontroversy over the weekend about whether the Australians could keep their boxing kangaroo flag flying in the athletes village was never a controversy, an Aussie newspaper says.

It was never anything, writes Dan Silkstone of the Melbourne Age.

Contrary to reports, no one from the International Olympic Committee ever requested the removal of the flag, above, a team mascot for several Games, because it has a trademarked image, Silkstone says.

"A cynic might point out," he continues, that the Australian Olympic Committee was looking for some good, nationalistic PR back home after fighting for months with the federal government over a government-commissioned sports review that slammed the committee "and our expensive national obsession with chasing gold medals."

And anyway, "what kind of serious flag features sporting goods? Would we not laugh if the Spanish showed up waving a flag that featured a bull playing tennis?"

Number of the day

2 U.S. 2010 Winter Olympians who have been on Dancing with the Stars: short-track speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, top left, spring 2007, and snowboarder Louie Vito, fall 2009. Ohno won with partner Julianne Hough.

What they're saying I

"The advent of the Winter Games could not be better timed, for it is an antidote to the reaching, grabbing, seedy, dispiriting culture that poisons the essence of sport. The vast majority of those competing in a British vest in Vancouver have not a hope of tasting honey. They honor a higher calling … one that acknowledges the taking part is as important as the victory."

Kevin Garside, London Daily Telegraph

What they're saying II

"When you're creating for the Olympics, it's 'How's NBC going to like this? What's your stadium audience going to see? What's the TV audience going to see?' The protocol is unbelievable. All the elements that go into creating a show like this — you need a mastermind, somebody who can deal with thousands of volunteers, who can inspire them to keep on coming to rehearsals. Somebody who has the vision and can make thousands of people see this vision."

Jean Grand-Maitre, artistic director of Alberta Ballet and director of choreography for the top-secret $35.4 million opening and closing ceremonies, to the Vancouver Telegraph

Ask us: Have a question about the Winter Olympics? E-mail us at and we'll do our best to answer it.

Ask us: Have a question about the Winter Olympics? E-mail us at and we'll do our best to answer it.

Bank account checkup

The top-earning Winter Olympians who aren't salaried pro athletes, according to Forbes. The magazine considered earnings derived from prize money, endorsements, licensing income and bonuses for the 2009 calendar year.

1. (tie) Shaun White, left, U.S. snowboarder, and Kim Yu-Na, right, South Korean figure skater,

$8 million

3. Lindsey Vonn, U.S. Alpine skier,

$3 million

4. Ted Ligety, U.S. Alpine skier, $2 million

5. Apolo Anton Ohno,

U.S. short-track speedskater,

$1.5 million

6. Bode Miller, U.S. Alpine skier, $1.3 million

7. (tie), Gretchen Bleiler, Lindsey Jacobellis, Hannah Teter, U.S. snowboarders; Maria Riesch, German Alpine skier, $1 million

Ice shavings 02/09/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 9:14pm]
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