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Stephen Colbert, proud sponsor of the speed skating team, is in Vancouver to tape special editions of The Colbert Report.
Then he got down to cheering the U.S. speedskaters he helped bail out.
The Colbert Nation arrived at the Vancouver Games to tape his show in a most un-winterlike setting: a muddy park along the downtown waterfront on a morning that turned out sunny and unseasonably warm. In the afternoon, he headed to the Olympic Oval in suburban Richmond to chat with several U.S. skaters before the men's 1,000 meters, in which American world-record holder Shani Davis was favored to win gold.
Colbert proudly wore yet another title on the back of his red jacket - "assistant sports psychologist," which he can now add to Sir (he was knighted, sort of, by Jordan's Queen Noor) and Dr. (owing to an honorary degree in fine arts that he uses to dispense medical advice).
"The Colbert Report" host formed an unlikely alliance with U.S. Speedskating after its main sponsor went bust. Colbert's fans stepped in to donate more than $300,000 to the program, and it was only natural he would attend the Olympics after getting so much comic fodder out of it the past few months.
Colbert started a mock feud with Canada, calling them "syrup suckers" and "iceholes," but he seemed to have plenty of fans north of the border judging by several thousand who turned out at Creekside Park to watch him conduct interviews with Buble, Costas and 1980 hockey gold medalist Mike Eruzione from a temporary stage adorned with a moose, totem pole and stuffed beaver.
"Stephen! Stephen! Stephen!" the crowd chanted, one of them holding up a sign that said "Colbert for Prime Minister."
"This is a welcome we couldn't have imagined in our wildest dreams," Colbert said. "I take back everything I've said about Canada."
Colbert took note several times of the warmer-than-expected temperatures and heavy rains that plagued the first few days of the games. For instance, he asked Eruzione if the U.S. won another gold in hockey at these games, would it be known as the "Miracle on Mud" instead of the "Miracle on Ice?"
Colbert's Canadian fans said they don't take his digs seriously.
"This is the highlight of my life," said Dena Ellery, who lives right around the corner from the park and brought along a sign that described her as a "Colbert loving, syrup-sucking, icehole."
"He's a a jokester, man. We get it. Canadians get it."
Colbert closed the taping with these words of encouragement to his hosts:
"No matter whether your Canadians, Indians or Asians, there's one thing that unites you: You're not Americans," he said, holding the stuffed beaver above his head.
"Beaver! Beaver! Beaver!" the crowd chanted.