For Day Three of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games we took a water taxi over the Granville Island and spent the morning and afternoon with friends.
Day Three, February 14, 2010
My first item of business was judging a chocolate recipe contest at the House of Switzerland. Chefs from Kelowna, Vancouver, and Montreal has submitted their creations which were replicated for the judging process. All were divine but we ended up crowning the crispy pecan chocolate bars.
There were throngs of people everywhere and lineups to get into every pavilion. Luckily, it was a gorgeous day the waiting was mostly painless for many. Inside the Atlantic Canada House we met up with a few friends and created some content – from photos to live streaming video coverage.
We stuck around until Kristina Groves won the bronze medal in speed skating and went out for dinner. While enjoying our meal Alexandre Bilodeau won Canada’s first gold medal on home soil. The cheers and celebrations sounded throughout the community as history was made.
Hopping back on the water taxi and walking home, the City was still alive and simply buzzing. I had a fantastic time with friends and especially my dear husband on Valentine’s Day, it was just perfect. This is only Day Three and so much has happened already, I can’t wait to see how the rest of these electrifying weeks will unfold.
Medal Count for Canada – February 13, 2010
A few days into the Olympics and I’ve come to realize what you need when you are getting around town to multiple events. Yesterday I put together a list while I was sitting inside Canada Hockey Place, after waiting 45 minutes to get through their security. Here are my top things to remember when you’re an Olympic spectator.
Wear comfortable shoes
Without cars and with transit re-routed due to street closures, walking is your best option around this city. I walk from the West End to the BCIMC at Robson Square, to Olympic venues and hospitality houses. Warm socks and running shoes have prevented my feet from being rubbed down to a nub. Wear shoes with support and some that can get wet as these are being dubbed “The Rain Games”.
Carry as little as possible
Heading through security at the Olympic venue yesterday there were families with backpacks full of picnic food that of course, they weren’t allowed to bring in. Some tossed items away while I saw at least half a dozen people polishing off apples near the security tent before being let through. Your bags will be searched, your pockets will be emptied. Try to carry as little as possible and only the essentials if you’re going to any live celebration site or venue with security.
Carry transit fare
I have been walking everywhere but the SkyTrain and Canada Lines have been saviors in hurried times. They’re probably your best bet for distance travel right now so be sure to carry at least $2.50 to board. If you have an Olympic ticket for an event, you may ride transit for free on the day of your event.
Show your colours
Whether you support Team Ukraine or Team Canada, wear your nation’s colours on your sleeve – literally. You can hit up the official Olympic Superstore at HBC or visit Roots & Lululemon for unofficial and international merchandise. One thing I must note though is that my husband’s been getting sour looks for wearing Team USA gear. We’re very welcoming of every nation yet his Team USA gear always brings attitude out in people (moreso locals). Lets make sure to have the right attitude as we are welcoming the world, even our brothers to the South.
Get a cowbell. Ring it. Go Canada. Repeat.
Thank the blue jacket volunteers
Thousands of those blue jacket Olympic volunteers are out there showing you the way, getting you into your event, and wrangling the massive crowds to make sure everyone’s on the right track. They’re kind, they’re local, they’re not being paid but they’re here to help. If you get the chance, thank a blue jacket volunteer today.
Leave lots of time
Since there are crowds of thousands meandering through the streets of Vancouver make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go. Allow at least an extra hour in travel time whatever your destination may be.
Those are just a few of my tips for spectators and Olympic visitors in Vancouver right now. If you have any of your own, please feel free to leave them in the comment section.
My daily series of Olympic recaps continues as I share my personal experiences through photos.
Day Two, February 13, 2010
Probably the biggest highlight of the day for me was watching women’s hockey at Canada Hockey Place.
The Canadian team skated over Slovakia 18-0 (shots on goal 67-9) but the Slovkian team still raised their sticks and saluted the audience when the match was over. It was a very respectful and joyous moment, even though they were defeated.
I can’t publish photos from inside the venue on my site but John has an amazing capture on Flickr. It kind of goes against my “in photos” daily feature but if you click through you’ll see John’s great shots – I just don’t want to risk posting them here.
After the game we headed to the Kingston Pub to watch Jennifer Heil win the silver medal in moguls.
Many people are wanting to check out hospitality houses right now and while they are peeks into the culture of other countries and provinces, our regular bars, restaurants and pubs are still all open for business.
While my Day Two at the Olympics didn’t contain much, it was full of substance. Here’s looking to Day Three where ice hockey, moguls, luge, pairs figure skating and other events take the stage. I’ll be heading over to the House of Switzerland Canada to judge a chocolate competition and all are welcome to stop by. There are also Chinese New Year celebrations around town so once again, Vancouver will be hopping.
Medal Count for Canada – February 13, 2010
This organized flash mob dance party started at 6:00pm at the Roundhouse in Yaletown and will roam around Vancouver with boom-boxes and Canadian flags until the wee hours of the morning. Participants either got the online invite ahead of time or joined in anytime along the way. If you do want to mix into the parade organizers ask that you wear red and white, although we did spot a few bare-chested men with red paint on their torsos. They also encourage hockey sticks, pucks, flags, and other Canadian accessories.
The decentralized dance party crew were commissioned by the Made in Vancouver Festival to spread some cheer throughout the city. They seem to spring into bouts of “Go Canada Go” every couple of minutes and you might even catch the anthem as well. When we caught up with them they were crossing Granville and Robson, heading North, and as far as I know they’re still going strong. Despite the rain, it was indeed a pretty funky and energetic dance party.
The website says they’ll be doing more of these events in the future but I won’t be announcing them here — one of the best things about a fun-spirited flash mob is the element of joyful surprise.
This day started out with the crackling of broken glass and it’s ending with a peaceful, musical celebration. This seems pretty fitting as Canada got its first medal today as moguls skier Jennifer Heil took home silver. Go Canada Go indeed.