Saturday, February 27, 2010

Super Saturday for Canadian Athletes!

3 Golds and a Bronze today for Canada. Tonight we attended the Figure Skating Gala. Oh what a spectacular night it was! We saw all the stars from the various events. Tomorrow is the big hockey game Canada vs USA. We plan to run early in the morning with friends and then crash in Craig's living room with his new big screen TV for the game. We have a Closing Ceremony Family Party at Kendall and Chris's flat with the best view of Vancouver from floor to ceiling! Looking forward to the suprises that the closing ceremony will deliver. A full final day planned for tomorrow at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics! The next winter games are in Sochi Russia. There is a lot of promotion going on for their Olympics. Hey...maybe we will go to Sochi! ;-)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The BEST Olympic Games Ever!

It's been a fun action packed week at the Olympics. We have attended a few events (hockey, speed skating and the NBC Today show on top of Grouse Mountain) and created some of our own as well. A highlight this week was Friday AM we met Craig, Heather and Wendy in the Grouse Mtn parking lot at 4AM to climb the Grouse Grind. The Grind is officially closed but we know another way in. We wore our head lamps which together with the clear skies was magical as we made our way up the mountain. NBC is filming the Today Show at the top of the mountain week days from 4AM - 8AM. We had our picture taken with the Men's Figure Skating Gold medallist and appeared on the show a few times as spectators. We were at work by 8AM! The weather has been fantastic which has contributed to great crowds and out door street parties. People are wearing red and white and Canadian flags are everywhere on cars, in windows and just being waved at random. Vancouver has never seen such large crowds. To control the crowds the police are implementing early closures of liquor sales which is annoying some but it does appear to be helping to control the rowdiness. We were sporting our red and white tonight as we watched the Canada/USA hockey game with Marilyn and Ron. USA won - but we are hopeful for a comeback! We Believe! is the theme of the Olympics. We hope to have one more day/evening in the city. The closing ceremonies are on Sunday - parties are being planned!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Who said there is no snow in Vancouver?

Saturday AM we set out early for the North Shore for a run/climb up Mt. Fromme with Craig and Heather. We anticipated perhaps heavier traffic with the Olympics in town. It was really eerie - there was hardly a car on the road. Perhaps they have freaked us locals out so much about traffic that everyone is staying home! We no sooner left Craig's place and noticed several marked and un-marked police cars on our way to the trail head. We figured they must be there as part of the Olympic security at the base of Grouse Mtn. We hit some awesome trails guided by Craig with only a few wrong turns ;-) but I didn't know where he was trying to take us so I really didn't notice! Prior to leaving home Neil and I discussed that we wouldn't be seeing any snow today as the news keeps reporting no snow on the local mountains. As we started to climb and gain altitude we started to see patches of snow and were soon slipping and sliding on feet of snow! We were completely unprepared for the conditions and had frozen feet and hands as well as some knee abrasions from falling. Common sense prevailed and we turned around not far from the top. While we were up there we heard multiple police sirens from down in the city. I even commented at one point that something was going on down there. Sure enough once back home we hear of the protesters rioting on Robson Street and apparently they closed the Lions Gate Bridge to try to contain them. Wow, the risks that come with hosting such an event such as the Olympics. Great outing Heather, Craig and Neil. Glad we turned around when we did. Let's do it again in the summer!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Vancouver Welcomes the World

Last night was a proud moment from the couch as we watched Vancouver welcome the world for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. A few hours before the opening ceremonies the news was spreading about the tragic accident at Whistler, a Georgian athlete had a fatal accident on the Luge course. Many of us heard the news as we were travelling home from work to make sure we were ready to view the ceremony at 6pm. The Vancouver Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee did an incredible job of honouring the athlete and the Georgian team and somehow found the balance of the pressure that the show must go on. And what a show it was! They covered many aspects of being a Canadian. A snow boarder flew through the Olympic Rings into the stadium -it was fantastic! The Four Aboriginal First Nations that the Olympic events take place on did a beautiful ceremony welcoming the world. The ceremony also included music with Canadian talent, the acrobatics of the Cirque De Sole, and appropriately included Canadians who have inspired us over the years. And a big salute to the engineers under the stage who had to work really fast and strategically to shift to plan B when there was a mechanical failure in the lighting of the indoor Olympic Flame. They managed to get 3 out of 4 of the torches up to light the flame. The torches the athletes carried to light the olympic flame have a limited flame time and apparently they only had 20 seconds of flame left when they exited the stadium. Whew! Wayne Gretzky a Canadian hockey legend travelled in the back of a pick-up truck (very Canadian scene!) through the city to the waterfront to light the Olympic flame that will stay lit throughout the games. It was the longest torch relay in Olympic history due to the vastness of Canada. We have tickets for a few events and plan to enjoy the city and all the buzz that is happening. Go Canada Go!

Monday, February 8, 2010

From Greece to Maple Ridge, BC Canada

At 7AM today the Olympic Torch passed through our home town for the final stretch into Vancouver for the opening ceremonies on Friday evening. It was a great community event that brought out thousands despite the early hour. The Olympics are here...!!