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Ron Judd's Olympics Insider

Ron Judd, an Olympics junkie and Seattle Times columnist who has covered Olympic sports since 1997, will use this space to serve up news and opinion on the Summer and Winter Games -- also inviting you to chime in on Planet Earth's biggest get-together.

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May 14, 2008 11:06 AM

It's no blimp, but new B.C. ferry is the next best thing

Posted by Ron Judd


OK, a lot of people around here already are envious of B.C. for landing the 2010 Games. Now they're rubbing our noses in it. The province's shiny new ferries -- new ferries, can you imagine? -- are festooned with "Vancouver 2010" paint on the side, in letters as tall as your house.

The bow and stern sections are wrapped with images of Canadian Olympic athletes doing their thing, in monstrous proportions, as well as the Vancouver Games and Olympic logos. The other side of the boats (we're not sure if it's port or starboard, they go both ways) have British Columbia tourism logos and photos of B.C. natural getaways.

See a photo of the newest vessel, the MV Coastal Celebration, making a recent stop in London on its way home from its shipyard of birth in Germany, here. And, if you're a Puget Sound resident really into torturing yourself, it's worth taking a look at a nearby maritime civilization that actually is modernizing and expanding its ferry fleet, rather than watching its old one collapse into a rust heap. An overview and photos of all three of B.C.'s newest, largest, "Super C" class ferries -- they hold 370 vehicles and 1,650 passengers -- can be found here.

You might get a chance to ride on one of the world's largest double-ended ferries this summer. One of the new boats, the Coastal Renaissance, already is making daily runs from Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay. The Coastal Inspiration is undergoing crew training and soon will ply the waters between Duke Point and Tsawwassen; the Coastal Celebration will run between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen later this summer.

The Coastal Celebration currently is at sea, in a month-long journey across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal, and up the Pacific Coast to B.C. If you're really, really bored at work, you can follow its progress here. The boat, due in Vancouver sometime next month, originally was scheduled to make Olympic-promotional stops in Los Angeles and Seattle on its way home. But funding for those events has been diverted to the Beijing Olympics instead, a B.C. Ferries spokeswoman said this morning.

It's just as well. If there's one thing Seattleites don't need to see, it's new ferries bound for someone else's waters.

If you're a true Olympics geek and want details on the Canadian Olympic athletes depicted on the ships, see the B.C. Ferries site here. Naturally, this being Canada, one of them is curling.

(Illustration: B.C. Ferries)

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Blogroll and links The official International Olympic Committtee site, with news releases, a searchable Olympic medals database and other archival information. Olympic news site from one of the Games' primary sponsors.
NBC Olympics columnist Alan Abrahamson's column/blog
Chicago Tribune Olympic sports writer Philip Hersh's blog U.S. Olympic Committee's athlete web site. Ed and Sheila Hula's Olympic News Service (subscription). News service with audio, video and text coverage of Olympic sports, during and between Olympics. Free, but charges for live video feed subscriptions. Beijing Organizing Committee Web site. Vancouver Organizing Committee's 2010 Winter Games site. London 2012 Summer Games site. Sochi, Russia's 2014 Winter Games site. Candidate city Chicago's summer 2016 bid committee site.
Olympic swimmer Tara Kirk's highly entertaining WCSN blog
Bellevue Olympian Scott Macartney's WCSN alpine ski-racing blog
Other WCSN Olympic athlete blogs.