Brits now bashin' Games fashion

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Oh, those stuffy Brits.

If they’re not busy crapping all over the Olympics themselves, they’re sniffing at the athletes’ questionable fashion choices. Heavens! Have a cuppa, dislodge that ski pole from your bottoms and relax, guv’nors.

The Daily Telegraph U.K. newspaper has put together a gallery of the biggest fashion failures so far at the Olympics. It ranges from those now-infamous Norwegian curling pants, to Australian speed-skater Lachlan Hay’s Tron-inspired uniform, to Canadian skeleton competitor Jeff Pain’s awesome beaver-emblazoned helmet. (You can check out their 29 fashion disasters here: http://bit.ly/olyduds). This, from the country that gave us Elton John. That’s a gold medal for irony.

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I’m mildly obsessed with these slick, GE-sponsored Superbodies segments they’re showing during the games coverage.

They’re ostensibly a glimpse at the science of sport and how athletes’ bodies perform under pressure. But, they’re kind of like CSI: Whistler, using computer-generated imagery to show all the gruesome ways in which muscles are compressed, hearts stressed and brains concussed during the various sports of the Winter Games.

Dr. Greg Wells, the Superbodies host who moves his hands around in every segment like he’s casting magic spells, tends to wrap each one up with a punchy quote, although the luge segment was a bit wincey: “That’s how you survive Whistler, the most dangerous toboggan ride in the world.” Um, I’m not sure if Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili would agree. You can see the entire Superbodies series on CTV’s website here: http://bit.ly/superbodies

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If being an annoying loser was an Olympic event, CTV’s roving correspondent Mark Torlay, aka Toaster, would own the podium. Torlay’s a legend in B.C.’s snowboarding community, but CTV’s attempts to inject some edgy fun into their broadcasts by having Torlay wander around Whistler asking probing questions like “what’s your best pick-up line?” or “which country has the hottest women?” just drags down the credibility of the entire broadcast team as a whole. Toaster might be the kind of guy we’d like to party with, but we really don’t want him on our TVs. Or in our bathtubs.

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Ski cross is my new favourite Olympic sport, because it’s all about beating competitors instead of just the clock, and the frequent crashes have a way of instantly changing the standings. Just ask poor Chris Del Bosco, who had the bronze medal stolen Sunday by a late-run wipeout.

But ski cross has also been one of the best-filmed events of these games, with well over a dozen camera positions on the course, including a novel flyover camera and an even cooler helmet-cam on some of the skiers. Why CTV didn’t show the helmet-cam footage more often is puzzling, especially during Sunday’s races with their multiple crashes. I’d have happily watched an entire race from the perspective of the skiers — all the thrills of competing, with none of the concussions. Dr. Wells would approve.

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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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