Two weeks tomorrow and the fun begins!
This weekend they will be closing a number of major roads, particularly in the downtown core. There are signs everywhere warning of the difficulties of driving into the centre of town or to any of the venues. Fortunately, on Monday, I will be moving into the apartment I'll be renting for the next month. It is close to English Bay and it should make it easy to get to BC Stadium (for the Opening, Victory and Closing Ceremonies) or to Canada Hockey Place (GM Place before and after the Olympics). To get to the other events, the SkyTrain and bus will be the means of travel.
For the various sports venues, all seems to be in place. Cypress Mountain (just north of Vancouver), where the Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding will take place, seems to be the only one where there is some concern. It has been relatively warm lately with the usual liquid sunshine that Vancouver gets at this time of the year. I bet the Olympic organizers wish it was last year with all that snow. Not sure what the weather forecast holds for the next two weeks but I guess they will do what other winter olympic sites have done, try and make as much snow as possible at night and, if necessary, truck in more snow.
I wish to thank my former CMS colleagues and those in the CMS Executive Office for making sure Vancouver realized that a special volunteer was in town. While visiting Granville Island I could not miss the store that had a special window display. I made sure a picture was taken as an official record.
I also took a ride on the Olympic Line - the new Bombardier tram that runs from Athletes Village to Granville Island. A friend is a Bombardier volunteer and take turns driving the tram. Luckily he was not driving it when I took the ride! (The Bombadier volunteers are in red and the City of Vancouver volunteers in blue.)
My horoscope, reported on in last week's blog, knew there was going to be a special role for Graham. My "exceptional capabilities" have been acknowledged and the organizers have realized that I should have been a VIP at the Opening Ceremonies. To make up for this oversight, I have been asked to stand-in for one of the real dignitaries as part of the ceremonies rehearsals. As close to the real thing as I will get!
I will be working almost every day from January 29th to the Opening Ceremonies on February 12th. Some of the days will be very long so the energizer bunny will need to make sure his batteries are fully charged!