European media’s verdict: Olympics 2010

The ending of the Olympics — with a record number of gold medals won
by Canada, and a jubilant party that was largely problem-free — left
some media critics” red-faced,” impressed, and startled, wrote Canwest European reporter Peter O’Neil.

O’Neil briefly surveyed continental European media, citing examples and finding the International Herald Tribune
balanced; the French media much interested in the “fervent and
seemingly uncharacteristic flag-waving by Canadians,” and the German
media “overwhelmingly positive.”

O’Neil’s red-faced comment was aimed at The London Times and the Guardian.

The London Times, which had called the event the “Calamity Games,” cited problems in its wrap-up but judged the Olympics “a huge success on numerous other levels.”

The Times‘s story defended its reporting of the problems: “The British media was hammered for reporting (them), but it merited it.”

Guardian columnist Lawrence Donegan, who had predicted “the worst games ever,
said at games’ end that while the Vancouver Organizing Committee was
still “occasionally found wanting, the Vancouver public was not.”

A small note: I think Donegan and his editors were found wanting with his “worst
ever” prediction — it was a stunning outburst of historical ignorance
of Munich’s 1972 massacre and the 1936 “Nazi” Olympics. But Donegan
surely won’t mind this quibble; he wrote of lessons learned in
Vancouver for London’s future Olympics, “Don’t be so thin-skinned in
the face of justified criticism.”