Let the games begin
So, with no election speculation, cabinet shuffle speculation, or Stockwell Day murse speculation to indulge in, what's a pundit to do? Well, how about torch bearer speculation?
Rumours are running rampant over who will light the torch in tonight's opening ceremonies. Let's run down the field:
Wayne Gretzky (3-1): He's the greatest athlete to ever play Canada's game and, short of giving William Shatner the honour, he'd be the most recognizable Canadian to an international audience. Still, his Olympic track record is underwhelming: 4th place in '98, and while he did pick the winning team in 2002, let's face it, picking a gold medal caliber Canadian men's hockey team is kind of like running as a Conservative in Medicine Hat...it's hard to really mess up. Plus, Gretzky's candidacy has no doubt been hurt by the "Just Visiting" attack ads the Terry Fox foundation has been running against him all week.
Betty Fox (3-1): Having Terry Fox's mother symbolically complete his cross-country run in Vancouver would have everyone reaching for the Kleenex. There's also been some talk of James Cameron creating a Terry Fox hologram to light the torch. But knowing Cameron's level of modesty, don't be surprised if there's a James Cameron avatar standing right beside Terry as he does it.
Aboriginal athlete (6-1): Sydney did it in 2000, and it's certainly the "Canadian" thing to do. Other good Canadian options include having 10 or 20 torch lighters to ensure every possible group is represented, or calling a Royal Commission to make the decision and then just never getting around to lighting it.
Rick Hansen (20-1): Having already lit the Richmond flame, the Man in Motion is probably out of contention. For better or worse, this means no performance of St. Elmo's Fire tonight.
Nancy Greene (35-1): She's got the Olympic CV for the job, but I'm concerned she'll be too busy with her arduous Senate workload to have the time for it.
Joe Sakic or Trevor Linden (50-1): There's been some buzz around these local stars but, really, if it's an NHLer it has to be Wayne. I'm just disappointed no one got a "Rory Fitzpatrick for torch bearer" campaign going.
Stephen Harper (100-1): Long odds, but no one who has watched this government over the past four years would be at all surprised...