Squeeze into the Lycra, don that helmet and sharpen those skates, for the Winter Olympics are upon us. The frozen Games never get the same attention as their summer counterpart, which is very unfair considering the range of attractions on offer, from the psychotic madness of the skeleton and the bobsleigh, to the rather more relaxed (though no less competitive) charms of curling.
And this year there will be debuts in Vancouver from teams from Colombia, Ghana and the Cayman Islands. Here surely is the true spirit of Olympian optimism that Baron de Coubertin hoped to see. In fact, the only thing missing in Vancouver is the white powdery stuff which is traditionally required for the smooth running of the Games.
Thankfully, though, there's been some snow in the south-east of England this week. So if the worst comes to the worst and Whistler doesn't provide, perhaps Whitstable will.