Sale and Pelletier get 'catty'

By STEVE TILLEY, QMI Agency

So I went to a fashion show the other day, when all of a sudden an Olympics figure skating competition broke out.

What fighting is to hockey, it appears snarkily commenting about fashion is to figure skating. When Olympic silver medalists and CTV commentators Jamie Sale and David Pelletier glimpsed Ukrainian figure skating pair Tatiana Volosozhar and Stanislav Morozov’s bizarre blue suits the other night, they couldn’t contain their cattiness.

“There’s just one word for this: Wrong,” said Pelletier. “Or maybe two words: Wrong and wrong.”

I care about figure skating fashion about as much as I care about a new line of Barbie accessories, but even I have to admit the Ukrainians were rocking a look that www.masslive.com appropriately described as “eerily similar to some of the duds Erin Gray squeezed into as Col. Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.” Or maybe something inspired by James Cameron’s blue-skinned aliens in Avatar. To paraphrase Neytiri, “Your clothes should not be here.”

Engagement Rings

The great thing about the online micro-blogging service Twitter is the way it brings together people who would probably never have a chance to meet in real life. Like, say, gold medalist Alex Bilodeau — who accepted his shiny hardware in a heartwarming ceremony last night — and the adoring fans who want to be his wife.

“ALEX BILODEAU WILL YOU MARRY ME?! :)” tweeted one young lady, moments after Bilodeau snagged his gold in the men’s moguls. “Alexandre Bilodeau is my new obsession. Marry me? <3 Okay cool,” tweeted another. (Judging by their Twitter profile pictures, neither of these lasses appear to be old enough to be anybody’s betrothed. Just sayin’.)

Bilodeau spoke to Global National’s Kevin Newman, who informed Bilodeau of the (somewhat exaggerated) “thousands” of marriage proposals on Twitter. “Ok thanks,” Bilodeau laughed at the news. “My girlfriend will be happy.”

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Scotiabank branches are decorated with images of cheering sports fans, Roots stores are selling all kinds of Canadian-themed sportswear, and Baskin Robbins offers the Winner’s Torch, a special double-scoop ice-cream cone that’s adorned with a generic gold medal in its poster advertisements.

Celebrating the Olympic spirit? You bet! Legal? Not entirely.

I’m fascinated with so-called “ambush marketing”, when a company hitches its wagon to a major sporting or entertainment event that it’s not actually sponsoring. The Vancouver Organizing Committee has been vigorously pursuing companies that get a little too close to flogging goods under the banner of the Olympics, even if the offenders don’t actually use the fiercely protected O-word. (Or the W-word, or the G-word, or the 2010-word.)

I understand why this is important: Coke has spent tens of millions of dollars for the privilege of pestering us with Olympic-themed commercials and merchandise, so if Pepsi came along and started stamping the five rings onto their pop cans, there’d be hell to pay.

But on the other hand, the Olympics are a national experience that touches millions of Canadians. It seems slightly ludicrous that companies are expected to ignore the fact the Olympics are taking place on their doorstep, just to protect the interests of those who forked out cash for Olympic rights. Am I way off base? Maybe. All I know is that now I really want some ice cream.

Steve Tilley is following the Olympics experience on TV and on the Web throughout the Winter Games. You can e-mail him at steve.tilley@sunmedia.ca or follow him on Twitter at @stevetilley.

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