Tucked away behind the media centre in Whistler, B.C.—not that any of us could afford it—is the Bearfoot Bistro, a high-end dining spot presided over by Quebec City-native and food showman Andre Saint-Jacques. In a basement where the high ceilings are lined from top to bottom with a treasure trove of wine, Saint-Jacques has on display a plaque bestowed him by the people at Guinness World Records for champagne sabering (21 bottles decapitated in under a minute).
And, down there too, he has a number of bottles—very, very large bottles, like small nuclear devices—of champagne.
If a magnum of champagne is 1.5 liters, a Salmanazar is nine, and Saint-Jacques, who approaches life as a restaurateur with the manic verve of a P.T. Barnum—he chooses from amongst his many champagne-sabering swords according to how the feeling takes him—has promised one of the latter to all Canadian athletes who win gold at the games. The magnums will go to lesser medals.
Not that the B.C. liquor control board approved. But then again, Saint-Jacques is armed.