When Barb, Rose and I went to Whistler on the Rocky Mountaineer in June we did the touristy thing with the Olympic Rings, Paralympic Agitos and the Olympic Cauldron. Kind of made me feel more than a little nostalgic. Hard to believe it's been so long.
Published on Saturday February 12th, 2011 to coincide with the anniversary of the Games, Patriot Hearts is John Furlong's story of the Games from the bid phase to the memorial service for Nodar Kumaritashvili.
Hubby and I went along to the flashmob thingy on Thursday on the skytrain. In exchange for reading the book on the skytrain between Columbia and Waterfront Stations for an hour or so, we each received a copy of the book, and John was there to autograph them.
I finished reading the book on Friday. John is a really good story teller. He also doesn't hold back and there is some critism of governemnt officials. It's a good read.
If you'd like a copy it's available from Chapters, Amazon or your local bookstore.
Remember the street banners that were on all the lampposts in and around Vancouver?
You can still buy one or a pair for your own memorabilia collection. We have a big pink Sydney 2000 fence wrap and after the Games we bought a pair of Vancouver 2010 street banners, and they will eventually all hang in the hangar. Can you guess which pair we bought?
Just in time for today's one year anniversary of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, you can own your own very tiny piece of the podium.
5 of the podiums used during the Games have been cut into pieces and packaged up. There are 20,100 pieces in all. Pieces have been taken from the Gold, Silver and Bronze section of each podium. You can't choose which piece you want, it's all random. But you may end up with a piece from:
Podium #4 - Vancouver Olympic Centre - Curling (Team)
Podium #9 - Whistler Olympic Park - Ski Jump (Team)
Podium #10 - BC Place - Victory Ceremony (Individual)
Podium #22 - Whistler Olympic Park - Cross Country Skiing / Biathlon / Nordic Combined (Team)
After you have purchased your piece of the podium you can register it's unique code on the piece of the podium page, and it will tell you which Victory Ceremonies the podium was used in and which atheletes stood on your piece of the podium.
That's a question I've been asked a lot. Friends and family have trouble understanding what I did every day during the Olympics. In short... I watched. I watched the kiosks. I watched the staff. I watched the merchandise. I watched the spectators. Occasionally I watched the events.
Line up to get into the venue. Note the barricades are keeping spectators from accessing the retail tent.
Normally I would arrive at the venue before the spectator gates opened. I would check in with the kiosk manager to see if they needed anything, I would check the tent to see if anything needed repairing - lights, heating, snow clearing etc.
Once the gates opened and spectators were in venue, I watched. Did spectators see the retail tents, could they see the signage, could spectators get to the retail tents, was the path clear, was it slippery, could they get in the tent, get to the counter, what merchandise were they asking for, did stock need to be moved, did our queues impede access to other areas, were our queues moving quickly etc?
This is what I like to see, a break in competition and our tent is full with a line up outside.
If the venue had more than one tent, I'd then go and check on the other tent(s). During a break in competition I checked that spectators were aware there was another tent, could they get to it, etc etc.
If the venue loaded out spectators from the morning session, and loaded in spectators for the afternoon session at the same time what effect did that have on our tents? Did the crowd of outgoing spectators close off access for the incoming spectators?
Ingress and egress at the same time - went relatively smoothly with no major problems.
Then I'd try to get back to the venue near the end of competition to check if spectators were shopping on the way out, or were they just interested in getting out of there? If they wanted to shop were they being allowed access to the tent or were they being funneled out.
In the late afternoon I would head back to the hotel to email in my daily reports, and then head to the evening venues - The Whistler Sliding Centre and the Whistler Medals Plaza and repeat everything.
My earliest day started around 530am, at Whistler Olympic Park and ended at 1000pm after our team debrief at the Whistler Medals Plaza.
For the first week, I was only responsible for Whistler Olympic Park and Whistler Medals Plaza. In the second week I was also responsible for Whistler Creekside and Whistler Sliding Centre. I wasn't sure what the second week would be like with all 4 venues, but it really wasn't any busier. I just spent a little less time at each venue.
Somewhere in there I took time for lunch and dinner.
Way back when Steph and I were talking to our husbands about the Paralympics. Neither hubby or Scott believed there was such a thing as the visually impaired biathlon. So Steph and I bought 4 tickets to the Paralympic Biathlon. Then Steph and Scott up and went to New Zealand instead.
So yesterday hubby and I headed up to Whistler Paralympic Park. It was kind of weird driving in. I was in my own little car, with no Vehicle Access Pass and no accreditation. And it was kind of sad. Our tent has already been removed. It used to sit right beside the ticket box office. And look now there's a big empty space.
During the Olympics , there were 3 stadiums at Whistler Olympic Park - Ski Jump, Biathlon and Cross Country. For the Paralympics only the cross country stadium is in use. Both the cross country and the biathlon events will be held in the one stadium.
Athletes are categorized as standing, sitting or visually impaired and compete against athletes with similar disabilities
visually impaired skiers ski with a guide
Paralympic biathletes always shoot from the prone position
Visually impaired skiers use a an acoustic system for shooting that uses differing tone as the rifle is aimed towards the bullseye
The bullseye is 15mm in diameter, there are 5 targets all in a row, the distance between the skier and the targets is 10 metres.
Yesterday we watched the qualification and finals of the men's and women's 2.4km pursuit sitting, 3km pursuit standing and 3km visually impaired. I'm pretty sure there were no Aussies in any of the events, but we did get to see a couple of Canadians, including Brian McKeever and his brother and guide Robin. They finished 6th.
After the event was complete we headed into Whistler to have a burger and beer at the Brewpub.
and stopped in briefly at the Medals Plaza to say hi to the boys before heading back to Vancouver.
We were lucky enough to have tickets to the Paralympic Opening Ceremony last night. It felt a bit like old school week. I was just as excited to see some of my recent co-workers as I was to see the ceremony.
It was great to see Monica, Michelle, Toby, John, & Dennis. And to top it off we got to see some friends we haven't seen in a long time - Margaret, Erin, Paul, Ailis and Andrea.
I enjoyed the opening ceremony, although it did seem a bit long, and there were parts that didn't hold my attention. But overall I'm glad we went.
the Canadians entering the stadium. I didn't get a photo of the Aussies, well I did, but all you could see was the white pom pom of the person beside me!
Somebody asked me if I commuted back and forth to Whistler during the Games. Not likely, although sometimes if felt like it. No, I got to stay here, instead.
My home from January 25th to March 1st was room #600 at the Sundial Hotel in Whistler Village, right at the base of Whistler Mountain.
I had two room mates. Heidi (workforce) and Charlene (Transportation) had the two twin beds in the bedroom and I had the sofa bed in the living room.
Because of the hours we worked I think there was only once when we were all in the room at the same time. They were great room mates. I'd share with them again. I just realised I never took of photo of the three of us.
I could walk to the Medals Plaza, the bus to Creekside was right around the corner, and the gondola to the sliding centre was just steps away.