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SO, LET THE GAMES BE....
No, the Winter Olympics never merely begin, like the bustling and rancorous Summer Games. Instead, they crystallize before your eyes and, like snowflakes, float sweetly down from heaven, pristine and sparkling, virtually untouched by human hands and human jealousies. Surely, not just by coincidence was the first full day of competition in Calgary St. Valentine's Day, too.
Let the games glow.
Tag along, St. V, and meet the happy principals. Hi, Howdy! Howdy, Hidy! Howdy and Hidy are the mascots of the XV Winter Games. Hidy may be the first distaff mascot, if you don't count the Montreal beaver, who was pretty androgynous. And how do you do, Princess Anne, just elected to the 91-member International Olympic Committee. Her Royal Highness was the only Olympic female athlete—she was an equestrian—not required to undergo a sex test at the '76 Summer Games in Montreal.
Yo, Brian? Everybody in Calgary refers to Prime Minister Mulroney as just Brian. Hey, Gordon Lightfoot! Here comes the torch now, to Alberta's Cowtown all the way from Aristotle's Greece. The Mounties are everywhere, in their crimson coats and their Sergeant Preston visages. But nobody to pinch. Lawbreakers? At the Winter O's? In the days leading up to the start of the Games, the most notable police action taken in Calgary was by the Olympic organizers, who obliged the Banana Maxx Dining Lounge not to call its demonstration sport the Miss Nude Olympics. So Banana Maxx just named the event the Nude Miss "O-Word." Take it off!
Right after that, several of the organizations that hold television rights to the Games prevailed on Calgary officials to rip up all the ice in the Saddle-dome because it wasn't sufficiently lovely. Take it off! Cost 25 grand, Canadian, but this is the Winter O's, and it's supposed to be pretty.
You're beeeyoootiful, Calgary. Everybody in big white hats. A big hug for Mayor Ralph Klein. And kisses for Peggy Fleming. And a high five for Juan Antonio Samaranch. Say hi, y'all, to the U.S. Olympic Committee—if you know who's in charge this week. Anyway, a big hiya to the Snowbird jet pilots and to the 1,000 pigeons who swooped over the opening ceremonies.
Let the Games shine.
Do you know how happy the Winter Olympics are?
No. How happy are the Winter Olympics?