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GOLD to Prince of Pot Marc Emery for his unstinting Olympic hospitality. Over the weekend, his partner Jodie posted this to her Facebook page: "Downtown Vancouver is frickin' packed. Ugh. So is our store... there's been a stupidly long line up all day to have free bong hits with Marc. Thank god I hid away my own personal stash away -- he's smoked all of our weed with strangers. It's definitely a LOT. I hope those strangers are supporters and actually DO SOMETHING to help Marc and the greater cause."

Marc posted to his own Facebook page the news that he "is choked that VANOC officially refused to let Jodie & I in the Molson Hockey Tent as guests of CNN's i-Reporter to watch the US-Canada game because they are afraid to have "The Prince of Pot" near the Olympic athletes who are there. The Prince of Pot NOT allowed in a beer tent lest the shiny reputation of these athletes is compromised by being in close proximity to a political party leader!"

How un-Canadian! The man gives out free bong hits to people from all over the world and VANOC won't let him in a beer hall?

GOLD to the athletes from the British Columbia and Yukon Rope Skipping Association who've been giving energetic performances outside the Yaletown-Roundhouse station. The usually long line of people waiting to jump on Canada Line right there are most appreciative.

GOLD To magical moments found by accident in Vancouver's streets, whether they have anything to do with the Olympics or not, such as that provided by the dragonflies, heron and eagle on stilts who, along with assorted creatures and a band playing funky tunes that were somewhere between samba and New Orleans style marches, led crowds through the streets of Granville Island Saturday. (But with a faceplant to the frogs who snuck up on a six-year-old and scared the crap out of her.)

And here's that six-year-old's impression of what's going on during the Olympics: "There's more stuff to buy."

GOLD to VIVO, the Main Street hub for media and arts thinkers, for its early B.S. detector. Four years ago VIVO refused Olympiad funding because of the censorship of Olympics criticism legally required of those who take the cash. Instead the centre is hosting a series of discussions about art, ethics and politics, including, on Wednesday of this week, "Life Inside the Pleasure Dome: Olympism, Tourism, and the Future of Vancouver."

GOLD to artist Raphael Lozano-Hemmer for calling his own Cultural Olympiad public art project, powerful search light beams playing over False Creek, "obscene" upon hearing that the B.C. government intends to cut arts funding by 90 per cent. Watch his comments here:

GOLD to protesters pressing for a national housing program on Saturday in Vancouver, including Pivot Legal Society's Red Tent campaign, for keeping the message focused, the goal concrete, the tactics inclusive.

GOLD for best release of information during Olympics in an attempt to hide the bad news: Three years after Prime Minister Stephen Harper stood beside Bill Gates and pledged $111 million toward the search for an AIDS vaccine, the federal government has cancelled the project because, Harper says, Canadian researchers were not up to the job.

SILVER for second-best release of information during Olympics in an attempt to hide bad news: We now know that the RCMP spied on Tommy Douglas throughout his life. They spied on him when he was an impoverished Baptist preacher in Saskatchewan. They spied on him as he was repeatedly re-elected premier of Saskatchewan. They spied on him as national leader of the NDP. We're relieved that the RCMP stood on guard against the man voted "The Greatest Canadian."

BRONZE for impressively succinct enumeration of gripes to date about the Olympics, found at the superb blog Beyond Robson:

"These are hardly the 'worst ever' Games. Yeah, more like probably second worse. Unless, are we counting the Canada Line fiasco, the EagleRidge Bluff disaster, the Convention Centre boondoggle, the Olympic Village bail out, the female ski jumper controversy, Olympic related evictions, the VSO conflict, the 'Cowichan' Sweater outsourcing, VANOC's heavy handed brand police, closed door meetings, the handouts, the Leni Riefenstahl clip in the promo video, the Canada Pavilion embarrassment, lowballing of security budget, the Assistance to Shelter act, Civil City, free speech zones, gang wars, harassment of anti-games activists, along with the cauldron miscue, the loss of a million dollars because they failed to think it might rain on Cypress, hogging track time at the Sliding Centre and the death of a Georgian Luger, the ice resurfacing glitch at Richmond Oval, the protests, the distinction of having the warmest games on record, undercover cops at Tent City, the bad foreign press... am I forgetting anything?"

Points off for forgetting about those Cultural Olympiad honchos crushing artists' freedom of expression (see VIVO above). A great effort, Beyond Robson! But when competing at the highest level of critical blogging, the difference between winner and runner-up can be a mere few syllables.

FACEPLANT to the Canada Line technocracy for Orwellian bafflegab when the train mysteriously stops running, as it did on two separate rides one family took this Saturday. The first time, after the train had stalled with its doors open at the Broadway-City Hall station for about seven minutes, the packed, puzzled passengers heard a speaker voice confirm what pretty much everyone had deduced: "We may be temporarily parked." Later that day the train lurched to a halt between stations and a voice came on to clear up everyone's concerns. "Thank you for your patience. There was an intrusion at the platform level." Would that be a terrorist attack sort of intrusion, or something a bit less intrusive?

FACEPLANT for VANOC's Dave Cobb for suggesting people are starting to call these Olympics the best ever. Sure, somebody needs to counterbalance the nitpicking press from Britain and elsewhere, but do we have to go straight to superlatives? And do we need to evaluate everything? VANOC should focus on delivering a solid performance, while responding to merited criticism, and stop worrying about whether these are the best or the worst games ever. Whatever happens, it's going to be okay.

FACEPLANT of Olympic proportions for "Own the Podium". Team Canada has yet to set foot on the medal-count podium, never placing better than a distant fourth over all. Visiting athletes say Canada's arrogant behaviour over the last four years gave the resolve to train harder. And now a Canadian speed-skater has now said publicly what other athletes are reportedly saying privately: By preventing them from training alongside the best athletes (many of whom are American), "Own the Podium" slowed Canadian athletes down.

FACEPLANT for men's hockey coach Mike Babcock for not starting Roberto Luongo in goal against the young American team. It's hard to imagine what might motivate Luongo to perform well in Vancouver where he patrols the crease for the Vancouver Canucks. Instead, Canadian netminder Martin Brodeur helped the U.S. in their attempt to recreate their Olympic Miracle on Ice, 30 years minus a day later. Points, however, to the pundits who have not yet called for a royal commission into Canadian hockey... yet. And points to Ryan Kesler for what could be the most spectacular open-net goal in history.

PENALTY BOX to the Russian Federation for implying it made Vancouver's Science World. When one becomes curious about the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, and Googles "Sochi," one finds the official site. So far not much as been built for the Games in the Black Sea resort but the plans are ambitious. So what does its website show as an example of all the infrastructure Russia is ready to construct from scratch? Pictures of Science World. Lots of them. A whole album. What we call Science World, the Russians call Sochi2014.ru World Russky Dom -- and Leonid Tyagachev, president of the Russian Olympic Committee, puffs out his chest on the site and declares: "The might of Sochi2014.ru World Russky Dom shows that our country is putting its full effort into preparing for the Olympic Games in Sochi." While the 2014 organizers never actually claim to have built their "Russia House" pavilion on the website, they do give that impression again and again. Will they be able to recycle other elements of our 1986 world fair in order to stage their Games?  [Tyee]

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