Aussie Olympic team defies VANOC order to take down flag

The Australian team's banner at the Olympic Village in Vancouver has displeased Olympic authorities. The display of national pride at the Olympics by competing athletes is a tradition, the Australian team says, so it will defy an order to take down a boxing kangaroo flag at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. Mike Tancred from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said it was something Australian Olympic teams did at every Games.

VANOC's dictatorial pronouncements are nothing new for those of us within spitting distance of the security barriers setup around lotus land but now that the international press is here the story of 'The Fighting Kangaroo' is spreading around the globe faster than a speeding bullet. VANOC has bullied Vancouverites, attacked LuLu Lemon, shut down a host of commuter corridors and wildly overspent their budget estimates [the price tag for security alone has multiplied by 10 already]. The BC government has destroyed habitat to 'upgrade' the highway to Whistler, they've bankrupted small businesses along the Cambie St. corridor, they've passed special laws to expedite moving the homeless out of camera range as much as possible, and generally pissed off stranded motorists trying to get to their jobs because "the mortage isn't taking an Olympic holiday".

So the Aussies have become an instant symbol for the 'no fun' Vancouver Olympics first few days. Other countries, led by the Swiss, are putting up their flags as they arrive in Vancouver in support of the Aussies. VANOC is in the home stretch, the last furlong, of its multiyear buildup to the games. Maybe if they'd have been less pushy during this long process they'd now have more supporters, but as it is, almost everybody from Vancouver's Mayor to its street people say " Go Aussies" and are in total support of someone finally standing up to VANOC.