A letter to Vancouver



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Vancouver Olympic officials learned a lot from Salt Lake and how the Games were staged here in 2002. And here's hoping that everything goes well a year from now.

We wrote a letter to our neighbors to the north with some ideas that may come in handy next February.

Dear Vancouver 2010,
As you are well aware now, staging a Winter Olympics is a long, tedious, daunting job. There's still plenty of work to do, but it'll all be worthwhile. Based on our experience seven years ago, here are a few things to expect:

The entire world will be watching and attending.

Host nations seem always to do well in the medal counts, but if a visiting team wins a gold like you guys did in figure skating here, find out where their party is and celebrate with them.

Many countries will rent out a restaurant or some other building to share their culture with you. Drop in and sample their food and drink and other customs.

If you don't have tickets to any of the events, don't fret; half the fun of the Games is the fact that there's always something going on -- from pin trading to music -- on just about every street corner. Just get in the middle of it all.

Also, go out and watch the torch relay go by; And, have a guessing contest with your friends and co-workers about who will light the cauldron during opening ceremonies. Buy some Olympic souvenir -- a shirt, flag, something-- because when the Games are over, it'll all be gone.

Yes, it'll be crowded; traffic will be nuts at times, and your favorite restaurant might be harder to get into. But it's only temporary.

Bottom line: enjoy the experience. Embrace it, because the Games will probably never come back to your town, not soon enough, anyway. Don't miss out.

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Keith McCord

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