Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vancouver - Take 10

Four Days to go.

For over a week the weather has been great - warm and clear blue skies.  Vancouver and Whistler must have scored a lot of points with the media and the tourists.  On the weekend, the Skytrains were full with thousands of tourists and residents taking in the sites, the performances, and the fireworks.  The rain has returned but the party atmosphere continues.

Attending the curling events (most involving Canadian teams) has been a blast.  Canada won all the games I attended and after Canada won their match, support moved to one of the other matches still in progress.  I think many around wondered where we were from since we were willing to join any of the other "national" chants.  In fact, it did not matter who was playing the place rocked!

Since my first hockey game between Canada and Norway, all the games I have seen involved Latvia.  In support of a fellow Osprey, I felt I had to cheer for Latvia.  I am afraid my support did not help.  Latvia lost both games, one to the Republic of Czech and the other to Slovakia.  Even though Latvia lost, both games were closer than one would have expected.

On Sunday (February 21), I took the bus to the Whistler Sliding Centre and saw the final two runs of the two man bobsleigh.  After Canada 1 crashed on run 2, there was no chance of them getting to the podium.  However, Canada 2 did well - coming in 5th.  Having seen the bobsleigh up close, I would love a chance to try it.  I think it might be too risky to let Graham drive but riding brakeman could be quite an experience.

On February 23 and 24, it was my chance to see long track speed skating.  There may have been more Dutch supporters than Canadian ones in the Olympic Oval.  Orange was everywhere and there was even a Dutch Oompah band.  It appears the band travels to  many international events to entertain the crowd.  I saw the men's 10,000 metres where the leading Dutch skater got disqualified - very disappointing since he was on Olympic record pace.  I also saw the women's 5,000 metres with Clara Hughes winning the bronze medal.  You can imagine the audience reaction as, to that point, she posted the fasted time of the day.  I think it will be the only event I attended where Canada won a medal.

My next event is the men's curling semi-final (February 25).  I am sure the audience is going to be pumped with lots of red and white and I hope Canada makes it through to the gold medal game.  I have tickets to the final Victory Ceremony which is Newfoundland's night with Great Big Sea as the headline act.  Should be a good final show.

Only a few days left before the Closing Ceremonies.

Obviously my stand-in role as IOC President for the Opening Ceremonies must have been recognized as I have been asked to do my stand-in routine again.  This time I get to officially close the games and pass the flag from Vancouver to Sochi  - well at least in the rehearsals.  There is no audience present for the dress rehearsals so it is not necessary for me to speak.  Consequently, I have to stand quietly for several minutes. Have some golfers have been in touch with those responsible to ensure Graham learns this skill?  Don't hold your breath!

1 comment:

  1. Just watch the final Gold medal match against Canada - what a game. Anyway, good luck on your final assignment in the closing cermony's.

    See you back in Ottawa.

    Brent & Alice