Fate of the Olympic Countdown Clock

Comments 9 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Olympic and Paralympic Countdown Clock in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery was a symbol of the Olympic Games for many. It ticked away the months, days, hours, minutes and seconds of anticipation for what became the largest global party this city has ever seen.

Photo credit: Robert Scales on Flickr

At first it was an eyesore for some, then it soon became something so much more. It was vandalized, it was a shadow cast on a homeless man in need of shade, it was a meeting point, a melting pot of emotion, and a celebration site. Now that the Games are over, the fate of the clock is uncertain.

The Omega-owned sculpture at the northwest side of the Vancouver Art Gallery site could be moved or it could stay put… …“The city has been in discussions with Omega, VANOC and the province of B.C. on the options for the clock. No decision has been made on what to do with the clock, but the partners are now finalizing an agreement and we expect a decision to be made shortly,” according to a prepared statement from Mayor Gregor Robertson’s executive assistant, Kevin Quinlan. [Bob Mackin for 24 Hours Vancouver]

This has many wondering what will become of the clock and even News1130 was doing a listener poll this morning. I re-tweeted their inquiry on Twitter and here are some suggestions that I received:

  • From @mojaveband: will it fit around flava flav’s neck?
  • From @250joules: Suggest the clock go to the Vancouver museum along with the protest pictures – the good and the bad… it’s all history.
  • From @KimAnami: Turn it into a World Cup TV screen and scoreboard.
  • From @WhistlerFacts: Auction! Give the money 2 the people.
  • From @joebonka: It should be set to countdown to December 21, 2012 of course!
  • Countdown Clock

    I like the idea of it being added to the Museum of Vancouver however I would like to see it benefit citizens somehow. I also like the idea of it living on in some capacity around town. The final decision is yet to be made and I expect a few ideas will also be officially tossed around in the near future.

    9 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

    1. MingMonday, May 31st, 2010 — 9:37am PDT

      I recall the city is creating an Olympic “museum” with a collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the games. Seems that’s the best destination for the clock.

    2. MozyMonday, May 31st, 2010 — 9:40am PDT

      Great post Rebecca!

    3. @polarisdotcaMonday, May 31st, 2010 — 9:43am PDT

      They should leave it there and keep resetting it for upcoming events. How long until Symphony of Fire, er, whatever it’s called, until Canada Day, until Me to We Day, until…. City Hall could select events and businesses or conferences could buy the use of the clock. Just be sure to add another screen or plaque showing us what we’re waiting for. Our first response should be, “Oh cool, can’t wait!” not, “Uh, countdown for what?”

    4. Allison MailerMonday, May 31st, 2010 — 9:53am PDT

      The BC Sports Hall of Fame would be very interested in the clock as part of our growing 2010 collection. It would be great at the front of BC Place or our entrance.

    5. Alan CMonday, May 31st, 2010 — 10:01am PDT

      I agree with Polarisdotca, although if they don’t want to bother with the countdown feature (I’ll bet there’ll be so many events, how could you choose?), they could use it at YVR as a regular clock.

      Wait — it could countdown to the next Skytrain. HAH!

    6. MelanieMonday, May 31st, 2010 — 10:07am PDT

      Why not just state the obvious and simply use it as a clock? Not a countdown clock but a clock that gives you the actual time?

    7. Mr. Beer N. HockeyMonday, May 31st, 2010 — 11:49am PDT

      How about we ship that big old clock down to the Gulf of Mexico and have British Petroleum jam it into their undersea gusher? Their trippy engineers could say something like, “It has a 60-70% chance of success.”

    8. JeffMonday, May 31st, 2010 — 9:37pm PDT

      The moment I saw the title for this post I thought to myself, “Why are they questioning it? IT should go into the museum as a symbol of one of the joys of the 2010 Olympics along with stories and photos of the lifestyles and protests.” Glad to see you agree 🙂

    9. AlanTuesday, June 1st, 2010 — 9:04am PDT

      I think either leave it where it is and have it as a regular clock, or it should be at a museum, but working, it is sad to see it locked in time at the moment.

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