Poverty Olympics prosper on $6 budget
The Poverty Olympics, a satirical event meant to bring awareness to Vancouver's poverty issues, took place Sunday afternoon in front of Carnegie Theatre on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
While the 2010 Winter Olympics has a budget of about $6-billion, the poverty-focussed counterpart cost six bucks, according to organizers. Mascots included a giant rat and cockroach.
VANCOUVER - Poverty-line high jump, long-jumping over a bedbug-infested mattress and welfare hurdles won't be official sports at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C.
But on Sunday, the categories took centre stage at the first Poverty Olympics.
The "games" were staged by several anti-poverty groups in Vancouver's troubled Downtown Eastside and drew a standing-room crowd to a neighbourhood community centre.
Part community theatre, part social activism, organizers say they were meant to raise awareness of the hardship, challenges and substandard living conditions many residents in the area deal with regularly while governments fund the Winter Olympics.
Resident Laurel Dykstra brought her twin six-year-old girls to the event, which was a mix of many community members and a swarm of media.
"I think this is a hilarious and excellent representation of what this Olympic extravaganza is going to mean for the people who live here [in the Downtown Eastside]," she said. "It's a whole lot of money spent on things that aren't going to be relevant for our lives."