February 11, 2010
Let the rhetorical mud-flinging continue.
VANOC boss John Furlong stated flat-out during an interview with Global National that hockey legend Wayne Gretzky will not light the Olympic cauldron on Friday at B.C. Place. He also said:
"It’s one of those challenges you have where only one or two people can know, or it isn’t going to stay locked down. And I have gone to bed and woke up every day for the last 90 days praying I wouldn’t see it on the front page of the paper ... and so far it hasn’t.
"And so far I can tell you this: you can think about this as long as you’d like and you can think about the last moments of the ceremonies as long as you’d like and you’re not going to figure it out."
True, Furlong has to try to fog the mind here, so to speak. (One rumor is Walter Gretzky will be the second last torch bearer, handing it off to his famous son.)
The point all along is there are better choices than Gretzky. Count Bob McCown, of Prime Time Sports on the FAN 590 in Toronto, among those who are down on Gretzky carrying the torch. "We had a meeting today with some reasonably thoughtful people," he said in his irascible way. "And no one thought it was a good idea."
Also keep in mind it is not as if the Olympics won't return to Canada again in Gretzky's lifetime. Canada is hosting its third Games of the past 34 years. It is not unreasonable to think that if Toronto ever hosted, Gretzky, as a Southern Ontario native, would be the final torch bearer. This is Vancouver's time, and that means deferring to someone who has B.C. roots.