The Vancouver 2010 Olympics are here

Finally, they have arrived…..the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, and in my hometown nonetheless! What a thrilling and joyful experience. I don’t even know where to begin as it’s already Day 5 and there has been so much going on. Let me provide a recap of the past five days:

Day 1 – Opening Ceremonies
I suppose it’s now safe to divulge some information that I couldn’t before……I was a performer in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Opening Ceremonies!! It was one of the best experiences of my life and I’m so thankful for having the opportunity to be involved. Never in my wildest dreams had I thought I would get this opportunity. It started with an email from my paddling group looking for “female rollerbladers” for auditions in November 2009. I applied and was accepted. I auditioned and was accepted. I began rehearsals in mid-December, only 2 months before the Opening Ceremonies….seemed tight to me but the routine was simple….skate in a circle and don’t fall. Oh, and don’t forget to turn your lights on! If you haven’t seen the skating portion of the Opening Ceremonies (in the “Peaks of Endeavour” sequence), check it out on CTV’s website (Canada) or NBC’s website (US). I’m the one in red…..ha! Really I’m in it. I have the nifty red cat suit and red faux leather jacket with LED lights on to prove it.

Unfortunately, the only other memory of Day 1 was the very tragic incident when the young Georgian Nodar Kumaritashvili died in a luging accident. May he rest in peace.

Day 2 – Recovery & 1st Canadian Medal
Day 2 was spent mostly recovering from Day 1’s main event, skating in the Opening Ceremonies and the after party! But there was Olympics to watch and medals to be won. The first event in which Canada won a medal was the women’s freestyle skiing moguls. Jenn Heil of Spruce Grove, Alberta was splendid in taking home the silver in this event. I was jumping for joy while watching the event on t.v. with my family.

Day 3 – Exploring Vancouver & Gold for Canada
The two things that stand out in my memory for this day: (1) line-ups and (2) winning gold on home soil. Let me first briefly explain the “line-ups” memory. As a Canadian and local Vancouverite, I was determined to take in as much of the hoopla of the Olympics as possible…..including many of the free events and LiveCity sites. My route that day went something like this:

  • 1st stop: Science World (aka Sochi House) – line-up 2 hours long, skipped this and continued on
  • 2nd stop: Ontario House – no line-up, watched a free Caribana show, not bad but could have used more dancers
  • 3rd  stop: Hockey House – no line-up but you had to reserve in advance and pay $90 to get in; guess what, every night is sold out already – go figure!
  • 4th/5th stop: Maison du Quebec and Saskatchewan Pavilion – line-ups too long so we moved on; I haven’t heard many good things about these houses anyway
  • 6th stop: walked a kilometre or two to the new Bombardier streetcar near the Athlete’s Village but line-up was again too long so continued to walk to Granville Island (another 1-2 kms away)
  • 7th stop: Granville Island – watched some crazy aerialists at Place de la Francophonie; stood in line at Swiss House for 30 min’s but gave up after hearing it would be another hour to get in; Atlantic House line-up too long for our liking; had dinner at an old faithful, the Cat’s Meow
  • 8th stop: LiveCity Yaletown – waited 30 min’s to take the water taxi over to the LiveCity Yaletown site at David Lam Park; waited another 30 min’s to get in but this one was actually worth the wait! Free shows including local bands Mother Mother and Daniel Wesley.

The highlight of the last stop on my route was watching the men’s freestyle skiing moguls event in which Canada’s Alexandre Bilodeau won gold….the first gold medal ever won on Canadian home soil!

Day 4 – Unfortunate Speed Skating Results & Canadian Silver
Yes, it was an unfortunate day for many reasons: (1) going back to work after being on a high all weekend from the first 3 days of the Olympics, (2) watching the Koreans and Japanese kick Canada’s butt in the men’s 500m long-track speed skating, (3) watching the American beat Canada’s Mike Robertson in the men’s snowboarding cross final by a mere inches (at least we won silver).

Day 5 – Another Gold for Canada and the Start of Men’s Hockey!
Although I didn’t get to enjoy watching Canada’s 2nd gold medal win from North Vancouver’s Maëlle Ricker, it was exciting to see it being announced on CTV by long-time Olympics anchor Brian Williams. And it was the start of men’s hockey today – Canada vs. Norway – with Vancouver Canucks captain Roberto Luongo getting the start in goal – it couldn’t get any better than this!

I’m looking forward to more exciting days of Olympics including a couple of events that I’ll actually be attending for the first time ever in my life!! Let the games begin….

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