I’m passionate about the issues I care deeply about, and while diplomatic by nature, sometimes I get a bit heated in pursuit of those causes, particularly when I feel there is an underdog in need of defense.
I feel I erred in this regard in my recent post – A Potemkin Olympics – (since amended) regarding the contretemps that erupted between VANOC and organizers of the Opening Ceremonies on one side, and the Vancouver Symphony and Vancouvery Youth Symphony on the other. I regret the way I characterized those involved on the Olympics organizing side and the lack of respect I exhibited for the producers of the Opening Ceremonies.
More particularly, I wish to apologize – in Memoriam, as Bob Ransford points out – to Jack Poole, head of VANOC in this regard. I never criticized him, but having criticized the organization he ran so successfully, i feel compelled to also note on the same page that he is universally praised by those I look up to as someone who was one of the great Vancouverites, with highly admirable values and deeply committed to this city.
And to acknowledge, as Rod Mickleburg pointed out recently in The Globe & Mail, that many of the events tarnishing the Olympic image were out of VANOC’s control.
While I disagree with some of the decisions taken by VANOC and the Opening Ceremonies, I wish to state categorically that I do so with full respect for the internationally-celebrated team chosen to showcase our city to the world. We are all looking forward to a unique spectacular that magical day.
I give the organizers of the Olympics and Paralympics, and the producers of the Opening Ceremonies full respect for their extraordinary achievements so far, and my full support for their efforts to bring honour to our city, province and nation next month. We will all be watching with pride. And in the year to come, if ever disagree I must, I will endeavour to disagree more respectfully.