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GOLD to the snow gods, for deigning to sprinkle Cypress Mountain. See? We told you it snows up there in the winter!

GOLD to Ashleigh McIvor for appeasing the gods with her glorious first-place performance in the first ever women's Olympic ski-cross event.

GOLD to Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue for their world-beating ice dancing, with extra points to Moir for his quite logical sounding explanation for why he chose ice dancing over, say, hockey. "It made more sense," he said, "to hang out with a cute girl than 19 other guys."

GOLD to Pravda, former Soviet mouthpiece, for self-parody strong like bull. In a column apparently meant without a bit of irony, Pravda's columnist theorizes that a Russian skater was hounded for a urine test by Vancouver Olympics officials because Canada is feeling insecure about Arctic sovereignty. Cue the martial music, salute the missiles rolling by, and read on about Canada's "inferiority complex, born of a trauma being the skinny and weakling bro to a beefy United States and a colonial outpost to the United Kingdom, whose Queen smiles happily from Canadian postage stamps. Maybe it is this which makes the Canadians so…retentive, or cowardly."

Now that's good propaganda! But what would Lenin or Khrushchev think about changes to their newspaper? The Canada-bashing column ran next to photo galleries of "Jessical Alba's Hot Photos", "Mutant Animals" and "Rare Soviet Tank T-10."

GOLD to the Rhode Island artist collective Big Nazo for their wild daily monster parades on Granville Island. Thanks for keeping it weird and giving all the kids out there a fantastic reprieve from waiting in those excruciating lines at boring exhibitions (like the Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion) with their parents.

GOLD to Vancouver's street newspaper, Megaphone, which helps the homeless and near-homeless by giving them a product to hawk. Megaphone's Olympic commemorative edition is smartly packaged and informative, with articles by Downtown Eastside residents who talk about coping with their mental illness, growing up in an abusive home, or what it's like being a Megaphone vendor.

"People need to try and understand that a lot of the drug use down here is because people live in such poverty," says vendor Joe Fook, who's on the current cover. Vendors buy the 48-page issue for $2 and sell it for $5. "I was homeless before I started selling the street paper," says Vince, a Downtown Eastside resident who sells Megaphone on Granville Island. "Now I have a roof over my head."

GOLD to Mark Leiren-Young for shipping ammunition to a Great Britain bracing for a war over arts cuts. His Tyee article "Fill Your Opening Ceremony with Arts, then Cut Them" sparked a Guardian piece headlined "Arts funding cuts in Canada: the shape of UK things to come?"

SILVER medals to 2010 men's curling team member Marc Kennedy and former gold medal winning Olympic speed skater Christine Nesbitt for standing up and defending the Own the Podium program against the dwindling enthusiasm of Canadian Olympic Committee CEO Chris Rudge. Rudge had been getting all discouraged that we'll be fighting for second with the Germans. The Americans may be the ones who will end up owning the podium, but Kennedy stayed positive, and put the value of our $6 billion taxpayer's contribution to the program in perspective:

"That's not an instant thing, owning the podium. That's a difficult process. I'm happy they did it. I think it pushed all of us to be a little bit better. I know some of it's been disappointing here and there but the Olympics aren't over yet." Points off for not making a pun about taking out a second mortgage on the podium.

FACEPLANT for Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite for enjoying the Olympic party a bit too much. She issued a statement saying she expects to face drunk driving charges after being caught in a road check in the early hours of Tuesday morning. This two days after tweeting "Those BC wines are the best!" on a day when she also noted how great Vancouver's cabs are.

The Liberal communications machine deserves points for getting Thornthwaite's statement out taking responsibility, apologizing etc. . . but then they've been through it before.

FACEPLANT for Vancouver vendors having memory or counting problems. As a family cruised around the Olympics scene in the city this weekend, there was the man in a convenience store who, paid with a $10 bill for a couple popsicles, gave change as if it he'd been given just a five. Also, a harbour ferry ticket collector who calculated an extra six bucks over the posted price for an adult and two children's return trip to Granville Island. In both cases they corrected their errors with little dispute, but the visitor is left wondering whether these were merely innocent brain farts or clumsy attempts to take petty amounts of gold from the unwary.

Penalty Box for VANOC for pulling rank on the CBC over logo supremacy yesterday. VANOC prohibited the public from bringing the publicly funded broadcaster's flags into Canada Hockey Place, all because one side is adorned with the CBC logo, according to the CBC. No logos, except the five rings and the official branding of VANOC are allowed inside Canada Hockey Place or any other competition venue. As a publicly funded body of the government, just one of the other, you know, minor key players involved in hosting games, the CBC almost deserves time in the box for acquiescing to the big V so quickly.

PENALTY BOX for the B.C. government for letting people shoot an Olympic mascot. The government is reopening the trophy hunt for bears in B.C.'s Great Bear Rainforest, and that includes the rare white Kermode bear -- the 'spirit bear' featured in the Games' opening ceremonies.

The Kermode is a Black bear with a special gene. Black bears and Grizzlies will be back in the crosshairs, too. "The eyes of the world are on B.C. and the global campaign to end the trophy hunting of bears in Canada's Great Bear Rainforest will continue to escalate until they are protected," said Rebecca Aldworth of Humane Society International/Canada.

That's our latest take. Now tell us your winners and losers during the Olympics so far. Post a comment below!  [Tyee]

Read more: 2010 Olympics

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