“let the games begin”

Art Hagopian’s July 8th letter to The Auroran here: http://www.newspapers-online.com/auroran/?p=11268 addresses Chris Ballard’s fallacious statement that Toronto’s Pan American Games are somehow “bigger than the Montreal Olympics”.

The Pan Am Games are NOlympics. They should be celebrated in their own right without insecure politicians like Blowhard Ballard using the opportunity in a pathetic dick measuring contest.

Nationally the 1976 Olympics were particularly significant, as these were the first Olympic games hosted on Canadian soil.

Opened by Queen Elizabeth with several members of the Royal Family in attendance the 1976 games were also significant in their introduction of Women’s events in basketball, handball and rowing.

It was also the Olympics where U.S. track and field athlete Caitlyn Jenner won the gold medal for decathlon, setting a world record of 8,634 points.

But all of that pales in comparison to the “bigger” Pan Am games now underway in Toronto.

During his stint on Aurora’s town council last term Ballard never passed an opportunity to showcase his passion for the game of hyperbole. The night of swearing into office his arrogant gold medal remark “let the games begin” set the tone for a lack of integrity that permeated his time at the council table.

But Ballard isn’t the only one trying to pass off the Olympics’ step cousin as the prom queen.

Almost 2 years ago when Michael Chan was the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport declared that the Pan Am Games will be “even bigger than the Vancouver Olympics.” as quoted in this Gloge & Mail article here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/liberals-defending-7-million-in-bonuses-for-pan-am-execs-if-games-on-budget/article14706737/

Really?

The Vancouver Olympics?

You mean the first time, Canada won gold in an “official” sport at an Olympic Games hosted at home and then went on to break the record for the most gold medals won at a single Winter Olympics?

It’s one thing for politicians to share delusions of grandeur about the Pan Am games but pitting Canadian cities against one another insults the legacy of Canada’s athletes.

Politicians like Chan and Ballard who spout off baseless comparisons need to be reminded how it erodes the integrity of everything else that spews out of their mouth.

Ontarians are fed up with our M.P.P.s playing games and have been keeping close score of how these Pan Am Games have been organized. From the construction and redevelopment projects that have failed to meet their intended timelines and budget, to insulting compensation packages to organizers.

The only thing with the Pan Am Games that appears to be bigger than the Montreal and Vancouver Olympics is the build it and they will come attitude that has left a staggering amount of event tickets unsold.

If organizers were even remotely interested in putting on a show bigger than the Olympics all they need to do is round up M.P.Ps like Ballard and Chan that have eyes bigger than their stomachs and pit them against each other in a new event modeled after Suzanne Collins’ popular The Hunger Games.

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