Let the Games begin!

February 12, 2010 - 4:54 am

While snow crippled the ill-prepared Mid-Atlantic region on the East Coast, Vancouver finds itself starved for powder. Go figure. Instead of snow, an unrelenting rain has pounded the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. No matter. Technology -- and shipping -- is a marvelous thing, and so the enterprising officials of the Games and Canada will no doubt find a way to produce all the ice and snow necessary to get the world to reflect on the delights of the obscure: from bobsledding, the luge and the skeleton to the meaning of the rarely invoked word "quadrennial." It is the once-every-four-years spectacle that is the Winter Olympics, when citizens of the world find themselves with rooting interests in people they've never heard of, who are participating in sports that they would never otherwise watch. When else do we get to cheer on gun-toting people on skis? It is a celebration of athletics for it's own sake, and as such, a uniquely entertaining stretch of two weeks across an otherwise barren stretch of the sports landscape. New England will be well represented in the Games, with more than 50 natives of the region filling out the Team USA roster. For details on the Olympic participants who will represent both the United States and New England, check back in this space for sport-by-sport previews of the local athletes taking part in the Winter Olympics: -- Ski Jumping -- Snowboarding -- Women's Hockey -- Biathlon -- Alpine Skiing For complete coverage of the Games, check out the Winter Olympics page at WEEI.com. LEEInks will offer a daily recap of the previous day's Olympic events, including a look at how New Englanders did. TODAY: The Olympics are scheduled to kick off on Friday (snow permitting!), with the qualifier for the Individual Normal Hill Ski Jump. As Tom Layman notes, Nick Alexander of Lebanon, N.H., has paid his own way to Vancouver in order to take part in the Olympics. For more on "Zander," click here. For more on a US Olympic Ski Jumping Team that has been banished  to obscurity and may be bounced out of the Games before the opening ceremonies take place on Friday night, click here.