VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Olympics bring fame and glory to a chosen few athletes; for the rest of the world, the games bring must-have flair.
Jetsetters at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver have aptly chosen a Canadian accessory that also benefits aspiring athletes.
More than 2 million pairs of bright red mittens adorned with the Olympics rings and the Canadian maple leaf, a Vancouver business owner said.
Sales have increased as the Games loom, she said, despite warmer than normal temperatures.
The "maples" first hit the market just after Christmas. Lines formed around the block to pick up a pair, they were so hot, business owners tell KGW.
In fact, Canada has focused a lot of energy and marketing expertise on renovating its global brand with the Olympic Games.
It's "all Canada, all the time" here in Vancouver. Other Games have attempted to rebrand themselves via the Olympics media spotlight; most recently, Beijing was applauded for pulling off a beautiful Summer Olympiad in 2008 despite the enormous cost and environmental rationing that the government imposed.
Vancouver's Olympics prepartions have also been criticized as too sumptuous and expensive. Neighboring communities have complained that venues were constructed in what were once sleeper suburbs.
The overwhelming majority of Canadians and others KGW spoke to were excited to bask in the Olympics limelight and a feeling of Canadian national pride was evident across Vancouver and in surrounding communities.
Also evident in abundance were the maple gloves. Proceeds from the gloves benefit Canadian athletics programs and might just help produce a future Olympian.