Are Vancouver Olympics the Bad Luck Games?

A woman walks in the rain past a sign showing the Olympics rings at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

It began tragically - a death on the first day - casting a shadow over the games that organizers have had a difficult time lifting.

Bowing to pressure Wednesday, Olympic officials carved a small slit into an ugly fence that up until this point has prevented a clear view of the Olympic flame.

"Any picture you try to take still has the fence in the way," said one tourist. "It's pathetic."

It is one of many issues, big and small, that have dampened a games only five days old, reports CBS News correspondent Jeff Glor.

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A beam failed to rise during the climactic moment of the opening ceremony, an ice-smoothing machine malfunctioned twice in the heart of hockey country and officials were forced to bring in 100 new busses because of breakdowns or misguided drivers.

"There's been a lot of glitches at these games," said Olympics historian David Wallechinsky. "There's no question about it."

Last night during an outdoor concert a barricade collapsed, injuring 18.

Some newspaper headlines dubbed it the "worst Olympics ever."

Organizers emphatically object.

"It's the best games ever," said Gregor Robertson, the mayor of Vancouver.

Photos: Vancouver Olympics: Day 1
Photos: Vancouver Olympics: Day 2
Photos: Vancouver Olympics: Day 3
Photos: Vancouver Olympics: Day 4

Organizers do not, of course, control the weather - which has been awful for ski and snowboard courses. Rain and fog and storms have delayed 10 events - 28,000 standing-room-only tickets were cancelled at Cypress Mountain because of concerns the snow-pack would collapse.

"I was definitely a little bit disappointed," said one ticket holder.

Many experts still regard Atlanta '96 as the most disorganized games.

These Olympics do still have 11 days left - room to fix some mistakes, and maybe space for a majestic athletic achievement to take everyone's focus away from what so far has been a games replete with glitches.

If those achievements happen, they may not happen in temperatures any cooler. Temperatures are expected to rise into the mid-50s heading into the weekend.