Posted on: February 17, 2010 12:46 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2010 2:12 pm

Olympic notebook: The glitchy Games

By Ina Fried

As the sun rises into a bright blue sky here, it's hard to imagine a more picturesque setting for an Olympic Games.

But, with these being the Winter Olympics, the sun is just one of many problems that have marred the start of the Vancouver Games.

Even before the Games began, the weather had caused problems for course builders at Cypress Mountain, sending them scrambling to use straw and other innovations to make up for a lack of snow. Since then, organizers have had to cancel thousands of general admission tickets at Cypress, saying that weekend rains had made the standing areas unsafe.

On the day of the opening ceremonies, there was the luge accident that took the life of a Georgian athlete. And at the opening festivities themselves, part of the torch-lighting ceremony failed to work properly in a very high-profile mishap.

The torch has continued to ignite controversy since the opening, with visitors and residents complaining that officials hid the publicly displayed cauldron behind fencing -- something that organizers are now scrambling to rectify. (UPDATE)

Then there was also an issue with the ice resurfacing at the speedskating in Richmond. The Olympia brand ice machines didn`t work properly, forcing organizers to send in the better-known Zambonis.

Despite all that, organizers say that the press is really to blame, focusing on the negative.

To some degree, they are right. Public transit has been smooth and efficient, crowds so far well behaved and the Canadians are unfailingly polite hosts. And, in just a few days, the games are already full of the highlights and lowlights that make the Olympics special.

Ina Fried is a Senior Writer for CNET News. She will be in Vancouver covering various angles for both CBSSports.com and her CNET Blog " Beyond B1nary ". You can also follow her on twitter at: http://twitter.com/Inafried

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com