Wayne Gretzky: the wrong man - Macleans.ca

Wayne Gretzky: the wrong man

Colby Cosh on who should have lit the flame


Sorry, but the more I think about this the more exasperated I get. Did we have a better choice for lighting the Olympic flame than Wayne Gretzky? Well, what if there was a guy who:

a) had a record of winning amateur AND professional championships in hockey that puts Gretzky’s to shame;

b) wore Canadian colours in the Olympics, twice, at a huge, precisely quantifiable personal cost, for no better reason than that he believed in what were then regarded as “Olympic ideals”;

c) transferred those ideals to his children so convincingly that two of them are competing at these games;

and d) obtained a medical degree before having a successful sports career at the highest professional level—an accomplishment that those of us who witnessed the often-thorny details must still be tempted to describe as impossible?

The horrible truth is, there can’t possibly be any argument about this, can there? Without any question, we just plain got it wrong—even from the mercenary standpoint of TV storytelling. And to what end did we coax a bored Gretzky into the back of that ridiculous truck? Does it bother us to imagine him going to bed at night having let one honour elude him? Who do you really want your children to be like—Gretzky, or Dr. Gregg? Who do we have more, ourselves, to learn from? Who’s the superior patriot? Hell, having seen Randy Gregg skate, I’m not even sure of the answer to “Which of the two extracted the most from his innate talent?”


Wayne Gretzky: the wrong man

  1. [number of humans who have heard about Wayne Gretzky] / [number of humans who have heard about Randy Gregg] = >1,000

    • Yeah, but then, they didn't make any advance promotional use of Gretzky anyway. They went to considerable trouble to keep his identity a secret. And then, oh boy, big reveal, hold your breath everybody: it's Gretzky! Zzzz.

      • I thought lighting the flame was a joint thing. The ride out to BC Place was an afterthought, wasn't it?

        • It might have been a choice made haphazardly at the last minute (anything's possible with VANOC, I guess); that doesn't excuse or explain it.

      • Reaction of most non-Canadians to Gretzky's selection: "Yeah, it figures".

        Reaction of most non-Canadians if Randy Gregg had been selected: "WhoTF is that guy? Why didn't they pick Wayne Gretzky? Silly Canadians."

        • I agree that most non-Canadians would say "Yeah, it figures" about Gretzky being selected.

          That's almost the thing that makes me the most mad about Gretzky being selected (what makes me more mad is how everybody HERE seems so fine with it).

          For my part, they could have selected pretty much ANYONE ELSE and you wouldn't have heard me saying "Why didn't they pick Wayne Gretzky?". Why? How about that his entire Olympic career as an athlete consisted of leading the Canadian team to almost win a medal at the 1998 Olympics, while he almost cracked the top dozen scorers at the tournament. And Salt Lake City? Sorry, you don't get credit in my book for being the GM of the Canadian Olympic team. At least not "You should get to light the flame at the Olympic Opening Ceremonies" credit. It's not that I don't think Gretzky is the most deserving person to have been given this honour. I don't think he's in the top 3 hockey players in the running for being most deserving of this honour.


          While we're on the subject of things that tick me off about the Olympics, can anyone tell me where Gaetan Boucher was? There must be a logical explanation, I'm sure, but I haven't heard or seen it yet.

        • So, even though it's NOT a silly choice if you know absolutely anything about the matter, and Gregg was the far more rightsholder-friendly option from any conceivable standpoint (novelty, human interest, media availability, continuing storyline), we should still have gone the way we did for fear of being thought silly? I'm not sure whose part you are taking in this argument or what exact point you're making. You're just saying "Gretzky is more famous" in different ways.

          • And by the way? If it it's a pure contest of international name recognition, 99 better ask Steve Nash very nicely if he can chauffeur him to the big bowl.

          • This is ridiculous. There is no way Nash has 99's name recognition worldwide. Gretzky transcends hockey; Nash doesn't really transcend basketball.

          • But then, he doesn't have to, because basketball is played everywhere. OK, they may know Gretzky's name in Japan or Indonesia or Nigeria or Argentina, but you can go to those places and actually have a conversation about Nash with people who've seen him play.

          • Gretzky has recognition, championships in the NHL and international competition, and individual success that few other athletes can dream of matching. And even then, they're just dreaming.

            Just because you play basketball, doesn't mean you know Steve Nash. For the most part, casual observers and people in other countries only know Kobe, Lebron and MJ. Gretzky accounts a a fifth of all Sports Illustrated covers on hockey from 1954-2009. He wasn't alive for all of that stretch, but he's still the guy most people know in hockey.
            Gretzky was a captain and leading scorer (of leagues, not just teams) of teams that won the Stanley Cup and Canada Cup. Gregg was on teams with better players, like Wayne, and the bounty that the Oilers got for Wayne. People would gameplan to stop Wayne, and oftentimes they would fail. People gameplan for Nash, and as he never enjoyed playoff success, they mostly succeed. No one gameplanned for a way to stop Randy Gregg, who is much like Pats RB Kevin Faulk, has 3 SuperBowl rings and while he was capable, he wasn't an important factor in the team's success.

          • The sad truth is that Gretzky has no recognition outside of North America. I came to Canada in 1989 from the UK and had not even heard his name! And at that time I could name the big stars in Basketball, Baseball, football and so on, but hockey got absolutely zero coverage. Even today, I am betting you would find very few sports fans in the UK who even know what the Stanley Cup is about.

            Gretzky has become a very tired and overused icon, and they really would have done better with a bonafide Olympic athlete.

          • http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/6292

            Brand analysis shows Gretzky is very well known, even in retirement, with a Q score that equals Michael Phelps and surpasses Lebron James. As for your personal experience, it's no surprise that British knowledge about hockey correlates with their lack of success in the sport.

          • Wow, I am agreein with colby. Choosing Gregg would have been inspired, the American networks would have been at first confused, then forced to put on a little "up close and personal" segment about him and finally delighted because it would have helped them fill air time due to all the angles … especially if Jamie or Jessica medal.

            Pulling something like choosing Gregg would have confirmed traditional Canadian attitudes wrt the Olympics by recognizing hard work and dedication over raw talent. Doing it unapologetically would have been consistent with the new "we are more" meme of these games.

          • I agree with you Colby. Gregg would have been an awesome choice/story. Had his values in tact all along; an all-round decent athlete and Canadian. Gretszky may have been a good choice a dozen years or more ago, but his story soured a bit in recent years.

        • "Reaction of most non-Canadians if Randy Gregg had been selected: "WhoTF is that guy? Why didn't they pick Wayne Gretzky? Silly Canadians.""

          Or "Randy Gregg? What happened? Did Lee Fogolin have a prior commitment?"

          • Ha. Reminds me of another forgotten Oiler, Cementhead.

  2. This would work well in the UK, for example. Everyone's heard of Gretzky, but no-one's really knows what he did, or what the Stanley Cup looks like. So the rest of the world would need little briefings on who he was and what he'd done etc.
    If we'd had Gregg light the torch, the BBC could have run a 5 minute clip full of him lifting the cup, treating patients, marching out at Olympics past, cheering on current athletes (who happen to be family members) etc, and it would have had far more impact than the Best of Wayne showreel that most of us can see behind our eyes given a moment's prompting. Being really good at hockey is fine, but I don't think we can expect the rest of the world to understand it; most people would get Gregg's qualities pretty quickly, even if they'd never heard of him before.

  3. e) wasn't an American citizen

  4. Well although I wasn't really a fan of choosing Gretzky, I was certainly pleased that the greatest hockey player of all time played a role in the opening ceremonies. Unfortunately, there was no way his knees would have held up in the run to the parking lot.

  5. Despite their name the Kokudo Bunnies were a damn good hockey team, which dominated the Japan league for over 30 years. I was disappointed last year when the owner pulled the plug on the team after it began losing buckets of money in a tough economic environment. As a piece of trivia, I remember enjoying watching Kady O'Malley's dad also play on that team.

    • Thanks for that. I had no idea that Kady's dad played hockey in Japan. Is that why she's going to Japan to get married?

  6. Even a guy from Edmonton slagging "The Great One"? sometimes you're too grumpy Mr. Cosh. Gretzky is our Ali, minus the controversial politics. It's really OK, admit it.

    • Minus the controversial politics, the outsized personality, the boastfulness, the pithiness, the racial symbolism… yeah, you're right: he's Ali without any of the relevant qualities of Ali.

    • I suppose that depends upon how one defines "controversial politics".

      I'd say, in Canada, a man who supported the Iraq War and who said of George W. Bush "I elected the president. I happen to think he's a great leader and a wonderful president" (emphasis added) might be considered at least a little controversial. IMHO, even more controversial in retrospect (and given the context of the times) than anything Ali ever did.

  7. Hey, listen, y'all should thank the stars that it wasn't Harper who appointed himself to light the flame while playing the piano. Given his crass obsession with photo-ops, I'm still expecting something goofy from him before the end of the month.

    • you're off base here. Gordo or Gregor are behind every camera shot these days, even Rolly Fox carrying the flame had to have Gregor and parks board chair jumping up and down behind him….

  8. I think Gaetan Boucher who had been the perfect choice with Nancy Greene. How the COVAN could had ignore Boucher. It s out of my mine.

    • Where was Boucher anyway? Does anyone know? There must be a logical reason that he wasn't there, but I haven't heard or read about it anywhere.

      • As of February 11, 2010, no one had approached Gaétan Boucher

        “No one has approached me, not even to be one of the last torchbearers,” Boucher said this week. “I don't know when the person who lights the flame will be contacted, but it's getting late, no?
        “There would need to be a rehearsal, trying on clothes and all that. It seems too late for that. But I would have liked that for sure.”


        • Well, that's just horribly wrong on a number of levels imho if that's how it went down (i.e. no one even approached him about being involved in any way). Steve Nash is a torch lighter, Donald Sutherland and Jacques Villeneuve (!) get to help bring in the Olympic Flag, and Gaetan freakin Boucher gets squat???

          Seriously, WTF is that???

          • Given the attitudes that have been expressed by VANOC and on the comments section on Wells' they could have been afraid he would be too "French."

          • It's funny to postulate that, but I just can't imagine in a gazillion years that that would ever be the case. I'm on the "not enough French" side of that whole kerfuffle, but there's just NO WAY that this is why Boucher was excluded (though it makes one wonder WHY WAS HE EXCLUDED).

            If it really were a francophone thing (it wasn't, it just COULDN'T have been) then SURELY they could have fixed that "problem" by substituting Boucher for Jacques Villeneuve. I mean, for Pete's sake, one's a race car driver, and one was Canada's most highly decorated Olympian for EIGHTEEN YEARS.

          • Agree. I was just adding to the snark and like you just trying to think, WHY WAS HE EXCLUDED?

          • I agree. Gaétan Boucher should have been included somehow.

  9. So what ur saying is that Wayne Gretzky was not really Wayne Gretzky so how could the guy fake being someone when it really isn't the right guy. does he wear makeup? does he have a pic of Wayne Gretzky?

  10. A snippet for those too young to remember what the Olympics were once like:

    At the 1976 Games in Montreal, two teenagers — one from the French-speaking part of the country, one from the English-speaking part — symbolised the unity of Canada.


    • If I may, I do believe that's what Canada was once like. i.e., seemed to need to be like, in the year René Lévesque's PQ was about to be elected for the first time.

  11. Count me among the (undoubtedly very small) group of Canadians who'd have been happier with choosing almost ANYONE ELSE other than Wayne Gretzky. He's a multimillionaire professional athlete from another country who's greatest Olympic accomplishment as an athlete was going to the Olympics once and ALMOST winning a medal (while almost cracking the top dozen in scoring for the tournament) and his selection doesn't make sense to me other than as naked pandering to (relative) celebrity, Hardly, I'd say, a fitting justification for an honour connected to the Olympics. (And as for Salt Lake City, in my book you don't get credit for being GM of team Canada – CERTAINLY not "We think you should light the Olympic flame" credit). To my mind, being the most famous and best hockey player who ever lived just isn't sufficient qualification for being asked to light the Olympic torch at a domestic Olympics. Definitely not if your hockey playing had almost no connection whatsoever to the Olympics. I'd have MUCH preferred that they go the Barcelona "anonymous person lighting the flame in a really cool way" route if they just couldn't settle on a good torch lighter.

    • I disagree. Gretzky is possibly the most famous Canadian. He is possible the greatest Canadian athlete of all time. He is a perfect choice for the opening of a sporting event.

      All this stuff about home location, income, whatever, to me that is all pointless.

      If the Olympics are supposed to be about the best of athletics (which they are), then Gretzky is the perfect choice.

      • I guess I would just say that I think that while the Olympics are indeed about the best of athletics, the opening ceremony of the Olympics is more importantly about the OLYMPICS. Gretzky's was a GREAT athlete, of course. Likely Canada's best. And the best he ever did at the Olympics was a 4th place finish (I don't count being GM of a team as an athletic achievement).

        Also, I don't really take his citizenship as a serious barrier, I was just being cheeky and provocative with that (though I do eagerly await the Tories condemnation that we allowed a citizen of convenience who's just visiting, and votes in other countries' elections for Pete's sake, to light the torch in Vancouver. They attacked Dion pretty vociferously for his French citizenship, and they've attacked Ignatieff for living abroad, and he doesn't even have dual citizenship and never has for Pete's sake).

        The money thing though still makes me uncomfortable, but I still cling to the naive old ideal of the Olympics as amateur athleticism at it's greatest (though I realize that's naive and long past, so that is not really a reason to question someone's selection in 2010, more's the pity).

        However, as I don't count his role as a GM, it just strikes me as exceedingly odd that the torch was lit by an extremely famous, world-beating athlete, who never so much as won a bronze medal at the Olympics, and only ever even participated in one Olympic Games in his life. Gretzky doesn't even make the top three of my list of HOCKEY PLAYERS I would have chosen for the honour.

        • Gretzky was not allowed to play in the Olympics along with the rest of the best players in the world during his prime so that explains only getting a bronze medal. You can't blame him for that. Yet you can give him credit for scoring the most points for Canada in international play of any player, by a wide margin.

  12. I think a lot of our expectations are linked to Muhammad Ali in Atlanta. But like the Woodstock anniversary concert, things just fall flat when you try to recreate a once in a lifetime moment.

    Surely the Children's Wish foundation could find a worthy candidate.

    • I don't think they were at all trying to replicate the Ali lighting in Atlanta. An extremely important distinction between these two great athletes in this context, imho?

      Muhammad Ali was an Olympic gold medalist.

      Wayne Gretzky almost won a bronze medal once.

      • To be fair, no kids on frozen ponds dream of Olympic Gold instead of the Stanley Cup, and Gretzky has 4 of those, 9 MVPs and a few Canada Cups. Gretzky was 37 when he went to Nagano, long after his prime, because the Olympic Gold Medal in hockey is not as important to hockey players as the Stanley Cup is. It's not that Wayne wouldn't play for Canada, he has 3 Canada Cups to say otherwise, but that the Olympics < Stanley Cup.

        And as for Ali, it's his pro career that makes him relevant, because World Title > Olympics. And if it's not, can you tell me who won Gold in light-heavyweight boxing before Ali did? After? In 2008? And whoever these men are, why don't I know of them, if the Olympics are meaningful to anyone in a sport that people pay attention to? At best, the Olympics were once a stepping stone to a pro career in boxing.

        • By all means let's make it a contest of Stanley Cup rings. My candidate wins by that criterion too.

          • Randy Gregg doesn't win. Messier does. Or any Canadien player physically capable of lighting the torch. I don't know if they are, so I say Messier.

            How about who was the best athlete? Wayne wins.
            Who is best known? Wayne's Q score beats every other Canadian and even Lebron James.
            Who was the Greatest Canadian? That contest sucked, but Wayne was in the top 10 with Trudeau, Macdonald and Tommy Douglas.
            Whose name gets mentioned most when Cup winners are asked about who inspired them to play? I can't remember anyone saying Randy Gregg in between all of those Gretzky mentions.

      • It wasn't just Ali's history – the sight of a man trembling from Parkinson's, yet clearly possessing the same inner strength as always, was intensely powerful with symbolic and emotional weight.

        Gretzky, whatever esteem we may hold him in, simply doesn't elevate the human spirit with his very presence in the same way.

  13. As it may get lost in the collapsing of comments allow me to make what I think is an important point.

    Steve Nash: Torchbearer/Lighter
    Jacques Villeneuve: Helps carry in the Olympic flag

    Gaeten freakin' Boucher: Apparently not even asked if he'd like to participate in any way whatsoever.

    Seriously. How does a race car driver get a more prominent role than a man who was Canada's most decorated Olympian for eighteen years!?!?!?

    • Gaétan Boucher watched the opening ceremony from the Foggy Dew, an Irish pub in Richmond BC, with two reporters from Réseau des Sports. One of them asked Gaétan if he was disappointed not to be there. I don't think about it any more, Boucher answered. They knew where to find me.

      VANOC never asked Boucher to take part in the opening ceremony in any capacity.


      • They should have had Boucher. Why didn't they? Are the organizers too young to remember him?

    • VIlleneuve is far more popular in Quebec than Boucher. Villeneuve's father, who died in an auto race, is also more popular in Quebec than Boucher.

      Nash is possible the most successful athelete ever born in the Vancouver area. Boucher was born 1000 miles away.

      Nothing against the greatness of Boucher, but you are conveniently ignoring the facts that don't support your argument.

  14. A lacrosse player – because it's our officail national game.
    AND it hasn't been taken over by Coca f'n Cola.

  15. I think we should celebrate all our heroes, rather than try to tear them down. Few Canadians have inspired the nation as much as the Great One. While I had my own choice whom I would have selected to light the cauldron I honour Wayne Gretzky and am proud that he was given this opportunity.

    • I agree 100%

  16. I don't think Randy Gregg would have been a better choice than Gretzky to light the torch as he would have been too unknown globally and in Canada (until his name was announced and Canadians would have gone, "Randy Gregg, oh yeah. Why him?").

    I don't think Wayne wa a good choice for some of the different reasons already listed as well as his Olympic record is spotty. He was on the fourth place team from Nagano. He was ED of the GOld Medal team in Salt Lake but also ED for the washout in Torino.

    The idea of the foursome to light the doobies was good except when one of them failed to deploy. And for the truck ride through the rain, an Olympic hero like Nancy Green-Raine or Gaëtan Boucher would have been much better.

    • Essentially I think VANOC chose Gretz because NBC would know who he is.

      • That may not be far off he mark. I read that the reason Arnold got to run around Stanley Park with the torch was because NBC wanted a celebrity their audience would know.

  17. It seems absurd to me that people obsess over who lights a flame and how much French is spoken at what is supposed to be a sporting competition.

    That alone speaks more about us than anything else.

  18. #99 was interviewed by Matt Lauer.He said well you are American right Wayne? Wayne said " n. I am Canadian"!! I love the guy, he's great! Matt then said, who's; your s n going to cheer for, US or Canada, he said he can cheer for who he wants, because am cheering for canada! WTG Gretzky!

  19. Wow, the Macleans contingent is really down on the Opening Ceremonies. A few personal observations.

    1. I have had about 50 conversations with people since Friday night (all of whom saw the event). Just typical everyday conversations – other dads at the hockey rink, girl at the Loblaws checkout, neighbour at the end of the driveway, etc… Not one person has said anything other than "I loved it" (or something close to).

    2. Sometimes picking someone to light the lamp doesn't need to involve deep analytical thought. My logic was pretty simple. What is, by far, the most important sport to Canadians? Hockey. Who is our greatest player in that sport? Wayne Gretzky. We can argue around the margins on the second part, but my answer isn't clearly wrong.

    3. I also admire the hell out of Dr. Gregg.

    Here's an idea. Sit back and enjoy the show.

  20. I was thinking Nancy Greene myself.

    • Nobody cares that she won a silver medal in 1968 or whatever. Unless you're over the age of 50, she just isn't relevant anymore.

      That being said, Gretz hasn't been relevant in 10 years. If the games were in Edmonton, or even somewhere in Ontario I can see him being a good choice.

      I'm glad Rick Hansen was involved, but any sort of Terry Fox/Betty Fox thing would have been good too.

      At any rate, 2 weeks from now, no one is going to care.

      • Nancy Greene-Raine won a Gold medal in the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble. She ran a sccuesful ski company with her husband. For many year was the on-air commercial personality for Mars bars and she was recently appointed to the Senate.

        I am about as far from a c/Conservative as one can get but I admire her (and younger than 50) and think she would have been a great selection.

  21. What's with the desire by seemingly everyone to pick that someone who's just obscure enough that no one knows who they are? Seems like the prerequisite for many a people's choice is to pick someone no one else has ever heard of.

  22. Count me among the (undoubtedly very small) group of Canadians who'd have been happier with choosing almost ANYONE ELSE other than Wayne Gretzky. He's a multimillionaire professional athlete from another country who's greatest Olympic accomplishment as an athlete was going to the Olympics once and ALMOST winning a medal (while almost cracking the top dozen in scoring for the tournament) and his selection doesn't make sense to me other than as naked pandering to (relative) celebrity, Hardly, I'd say, a fitting justification for an honour connected to the Olympics. (And as for Salt Lake City, in my book you don't get credit for being GM of team Canada – CERTAINLY not "We think you should light the Olympic flame" credit). To my mind, being the most famous and best hockey player who ever lived just isn't sufficient qualification for being asked to light the Olympic torch at a domestic Olympics. Definitely not if your hockey playing had almost no connection whatsoever to the Olympics. I'd have MUCH preferred that they go the Barcelona "anonymous person lighting the flame in a really cool way" route if they just couldn't settle on a good torch lighter.

    On my score card, Wayne Gretzky doesn't even make the top three short list of hockey players I'd consider for the honour.

    On a not entirely unrelated note, does anyone know where Gaetan Boucher was? I assume there has to be some logical reason for his absence, but I haven't seen it discussed anywhere.

  23. The thing is, hockey isn't an Olympic sport. Oh yeah, they've included it because every possible sport played in the winter has to get included so as to Maximise the Olympic Spirit or whatever, but fundamentally team sports aren't Olympic sports and it's a hyper-professional sport like baseball, basketball, etc. So it looks cheap to have either Gretzky or Gregg do it: "Oh, those Canadians, falling back on the one event they dominate" etc., besides being un-Olympic in itself.

    I'd have chosen a random Canadian out of the phone book. Human interest city.

    • I was totally calling for a paraplegic native single-mother.

    • Yeah, except for the fact that it has been in EVERY Winter Games ever held, and even in the 1920 Summer Games. More to the point, its hard to imagine how something like the Miracle On Ice doesn't fit perfectly into the Olympic Spirit Narrative. But, hey, don't let the facts get in the way of making your point.

      • Who cares if it's been in every Winter Games? So much the worse for the Winter Games. And to hell with the Olympic Spirit Narrative: the only way to make the Olympics watchable would be to get rid of those completely.

  24. peter pocklington of gretszky scandal fame oops forgot the guy is probably in jail….brian mullroney for accepting bribes oops he should be in jail or how about james cameron the king of the world oops hes too rich or how about a marginalized poor homeless not necessarily indigenous person… oops too close to truth! guess bored gretzsky was the not so right choice!

  25. That children dream of winning the Stanley Cup, and excelling at the NHL is what makes Gretzky an ideal candidate for a big role in a ceremony involving the NHL, or the Hockey Hall of Fame, or maybe even the IIHF. But the Olympics? I don't blame Gretzky for only going to the Olympics once, not at all, nor even for never winning a medal there. However, I do think these are relevant facts when assessing his suitability to play a uniquely large role in the opening ceremonies of the OLYMPICS.

    I also agree that being an Olympic Champion is not why Muhammad Ali is famous. However, I'm not convinced, famous though he is, that he would have been selected to light the torch at the Opening Ceremonies of the Atlanta Olympics if he'd never medaled at the Olympics. Muhammad Ali was chosen because he's a famous Olympic Champion (even if he's not famous FOR BEING an Olympic Champion). Gretzky's an ENORMOUSLY famous hockey player who has only the briefest and unspectacular connection to the Olympics as a player, and a decidedly mixed connection as an executive.

    • Ali lighting the torch was significant and it had nothing to do with his amateur career, and everything to do with his pro career (or lack thereof) from 1967-1970. Had an Ali without Olympic experience been excluded, America would have missed out on a great moment because of a ridiculous notion of how important the torch is.
      As for Gretzky, he is the first forme Olympian to light the torch in Canada. The others had no Olympic experience, and it is not a prerequisite for torch lighting. Past lighters have included princes, teenage non-Olympians, and the child of a polar explorer.
      If the Olympics are about the Olympics, and nothing else, then by all means get Elvis Stojko (remember him? me neither) to do it. If it's about anything else, anything at all, then let it be handled by Wayne Gretzky, who was likely the greatest athlete amateur or pro, who always played for Team Canada when he was allowed to, even when he was hurt, who is known in any country where hockey played, and is who is generally well-liked.

  26. I didn't mind Gretzky lighting the torch, but did they have to put him in that white pantsuit to do it? He looks like a female nurse.