Saturday, February 13, 2010

VANCOUVER 2010 - AN EPIC DAY





So...this post has a lot of pictures. A LOT. It's long. And the ceremony...well the ceremoney will probably be over by the time you read this. But The Games would have just begun!

As a life-long born and bred Vancouverite, having The Olympic Games here in Vancouver means the world to me. I know there are a lot of naysayers in the city...money shoulda been spent somewhere else, blah blah blah. But would it really go to THE ARTS? No, not with this government anyway.

Anyway, IMO, better it to go to an event that will not only bring more tourists and revenue to the city (because how can you NOT want to come here after the 17 days are up) but it shows the world a city we, or at least I, am very, very proud of. We deserve it, we're paying for and we better enjoy it because this is this city's...and Canada's...time to shine!

I'll start off my Olympic week with the Olympic Torch coming to my suburban town of Tsawwassen. The coolest thing that has ever happened to this place and I doubt anything that cool will happen again. Sadly, I didn't really get a good pic of the guy with the torch, but I was happy to take part in the national pride.

YAY!

LOOK! Vancouver does have snow, lol

My mom harassing local torchbearer

After the torch, I had the Opening Ceremony Dress Rehearsal #2 to go to.

Everything you saw (except the very end) of the Ceremonies is what I saw. Which meant I saw Bryan Adams, Nelly Furtado, KD Lang and Sarah McLaughlin LIVE. KD Lang - WOW. What a set of pipes. I cried during that Leonard Cohen song.




I cried actually a lot. So much national pride in that BC Place stadium. Maybe it was the Molson Canadian beers as well that I had. Anyway, there were so many cool parts of teh ceremony, but I nearly shit myself when that 60-foot high sparkly polar bear came out of the ground and danced. And when those whales spouting water just came out of the floor. And when the skiers and snowboarders descended from the sky.

No, Vancouver did not "out-do" Beijing, but we never tried to. We did it our own way, the Canadian way. It was very, very Canadian and I am very glad that they put a lot of aboriginal effort into it as well.

We also heard the Vancouver Mayor, Premier and the country's Prime Minister speak. The last two aren't too popular but it was still neat. Felt pretty special :)

Then today, for the first day of the Olympic Games, I decided to go downtown and find Arnold Schwartzennegar because he was running with the torch.

With the city filled with MILLIONS of tourists, that meant I had to catch the 520AM bus to beat the crowds. It was worth it though, as I ran towards the flame in Stanley Park, the dark city slowly awakening, even though thousands of people were already out and about at 630AM.


That clock has been counting down for the last seven years or something! EPIC!!!









I lined up to watch Arnold...turns out his run was over but I DID see him in his secret service type car waving at us!






(check out these guy's poster...IT'S NOT A TUMOUR!)


Then the actual runner came, someone I didn't know but boy was he happy to be running with that torch!







I followed the massive crowds with the torch and criss-crossed around my old neighbourhood. Felt good to be downtown and to see the cherry trees blooming. Yes, sakuras are out...definitely NOT winter.

I met up with friend and fellow blogger Eyeliah and we caught the torch again as it came by down Robson st with another runner.


Check out my ASOS "Gold Medal" necklace, lol






Afterwards we walked down West Georgia and was welcomed into a church that had free pancakes and coffee. I hadn't eaten anything that day, so who could pass that up? Bless!



After Eyeliah went to her job in a hotel where a certain George Clooney is staying, I went past the CTV News headquarters where I ran into CTV host Tamara Taggart, my long-lost sister.




Then I watched some of the live broadcasting by other local anchors, before I headed over to the Zipline. It's FREE and goes across Robson street. The fact that it is free though meant the line-up was SPACE MOUNTAIN LONG. Crazy. I'll do it before the Olympics is over.








Mike Patton came too ;) (since the real Mr. Patton is in New Zealand right now, I thought it would be fitting if he got a chance to see The Games! YES I am a dork.)







Then I found some torchbearers and bullied them into letting me hold THE TORCH. Built by Bombardier, those torches are actually quite heavy and filled with butane. VOILA:




After that, I met up with my mom who is one of the many, many volunteers in blue who made these games happen. Her job that night was to greet all of the dignitaries who were attending the Opening Ceremonies. YUP. She met them all. More on that later.




Then I met up with my friend Kelli and her BF and watched the torch come through Yaletown.





Then to the Aboriginal Cultural Pavilion on West Georgia where "the official" torch run ended to the tune of a Native dance with pounding drums. It was THE END of that torch's journey. It would rest there until the Ceremonies that evening where it was handled by Rick Hanson, Steve Nash, and other prominant sport's celebs. The crowds for the torch were insane. And we saw CBC anchor Ian "Handsome Man Thing" ;)












After that, I decided it was FINALLY time to go home. I had been walking/running around since 5AM and my feet were literally stinging. Plus, needed to get back in time to watch the Opening Ceremonies live on TV.

The Ceremonies, btw, were just as great as they were in the rehearsal. For the record it didn't seem like Bryan Adams and Nelly Furtado were lip-synching during the rehearsal, though they obviously did when it was live. And KD Lang NEVER lip-synched. She totally wowed me with her performance.

HOWEVER, the whole malfunctioning cauldron thing at the end COULD have been avoided. They didn't practice it at rehearsal lol! The rehearsals basically ended right after that French guy sung, so we never actually saw what they were going to do with the torch. Oh well...it wouldn't be a Canadian event if we didn't screw up in some way :P

Sidenote A: of course The Games have gotten off to a sad start with the death of Georgian Luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. Luge is a scary, dangerous sport but I know all this man wanted to do was to compete at the Olympics. I hope the changes they have made to the course make it safer - I have been watching the training on it this morning and everyone seems to be doing well, though I don't know how you could run that course without shitting yourself everytime that turn comes up.

However, I find it entirely disrespectful and sensational that A) the media keeps showing that clip and B) that the US Media has been speculating that Canada built that course in order to kill off all other competitors so that we would win gold. That is very paranoid, sick and insulting. I myself don't know why the course is so fast, but the IOC (which stands for INTERNATIONAL, not Canada) ruled it OK, so I'm pretty sure there is no diabolical conspiracy going on here.

Sidenote B: Protestors? You fucking suck. And I don't mean the peaceful protestors who DO have a right to be heard and make their point. I'm all for free speech. HOWEVER those peaceful protestors have unfortunately been overshadowed by the violent, hateful and hypocritical protestors who have been running about the city, SMASHING WINDOWS AND SPRAY PAINTING CARS.

How the HELL is this helping your cause? You are only justifying the very thing you are protesting...the money that was spent, particularly the huge security budget. YOU ARE THE VERY REASON WHY WE NEED A HUGE SECURITY BUDGET!

And to do all this to thousands of international tourists who just want to enjoy the games? Shame on you! And shame on you for wearing masks and covering your faces. If you're going to destroy MY city for a directionless "non-cause" than AT LEAST have the balls to show who you are!

I only feel sorry for the peaceful protestors who did have their own valid points to be made - NO ONE is going to listen to them now because of these violent douchebags. When will people learn?

And finally, to end on a funny sidenote C: So, my mom is a small, silly Finnish lady. She routinely embarasses me with her lack of shame lol. Last night she met all the dignitaries as they came off the bus and entered the Olympic venue.

She met Nelly Furtado - said she was very pretty and very sweet. She met Bryan Adams whom she had met before on a flight (she used to be a flight attendant for Air Canada) and told him, "We've met before, on a flight. Remember?" haha. Yeah. Bryan was very nice though.

My mom had ALSO met Wayne "The Great One" Gretzky before on a flight and she yelled the same thing at Wayne as he went past with the final torch run "I KNOW YOU!"




To one lady coming off of the bus, my mom shook her hand and greeted her with "Welcome to Canada." The lady was none other than THE GOVERNOR GENERAL OF CANADA. I know Michelle is originally from Haiti, but come on Mom!

Then it came time to meet California Governor/Terminator/Officer John Kimble. She greeted him and he said hello and then as he walked away, my mother, in her Finnish accent, did her best Terminator impression and said, "I'LL BE BACK." To which Arnold could only just laugh. I bet he gets that all the time, but not from tiny old ladies haha.

My mom also met Joe Biden, our PM, the Prime Minister of Senegal whom she said was very, very nice and the Finnish PM who told my mother all the Finns were downstairs getting drunk. Nice.

32 comments:

Jennifer Stoddart said...

Great post! So many awesome photos!

Lindsay said...

Thanks for showing me the Olympics from a Vancouver native's perspective. So cool!!!

Meghan said...

I love, love, love this post. Such great pictures and it makes me feel so proud to be from B.C. and that we're representing our province.

Meghan said...

I love, love, love this post. Such great pictures and it makes me feel so proud to be from B.C. and that we're representing our province.

Vegas Princess said...

This post is amazing! What an incredible experience! Something you are sure to remember forever. I am so excited for the Olympics, have always loved them. I wish I could have come up for them this time but with everything going on it was not possible. I am holding out hope I make it to London for 2012.

I love your mum. :)

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Great post! Love all of your photos, you're so lucky to be in Vancouver experiencing all of the Olympic excitement! I am SO PROUD to be Canadian and to be from B.C. during these Olympics. I think Vancouver is a BEAUTIFUL city and this is a great opportunity to show the rest of the world that!

Kaylalala said...

This is so awesome! Ahhh I love it. (: I'm glad you had a great time.

And your mom sounds so cute haha!

Marda Mischa said...

You and Tamara Taggart look very similar!

Glitter Scrubs said...

Horray! LOVE this post! I was down there tonight and everyone is in such great spirits! The protesters aggravate me SO much! It's not fair they have to ruin it for everyone who spent so much time and money to be here. I hope people from other provinces/countries don't see that and judge us on it :S. Anyway, loved all your pictures!! The Patton ones are hilarious. Your mom sounds sooo funny! How amazing is it that she got to meet all those people!!

janettaylor said...

It sounds so cool!

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daisychain said...

what an incredible post, thank you so much for sharing your experience.

Fashion Court said...

even though i'm not a big fan of the olympics, awesome photos and awesome story!

ps: i also hate how they're exploiting that guys death. ughh. not what i want to see in the paper!

sil said...

how awesome of your mom to volunteer! i love the mittens, and i was already interested in going to vancouver, but now i'm definitely planning a trip!

myedit said...

Haha, I feel like I have a response for every part you wrote but I'll sum it up... pumped the Olympics are here in Canada, we totally got in on the torch action too (this stuff happens once in a lifetime), yeah for Canada's first gold today! and your mom sounds awesome!

Anthea said...

Wow great post. Well I just don't know what to think about the Olympics. I can't say I'm not proud of Canada. I definitely feel that we don't get enough credit and it's nice to see we're getting some attention. I can't say that I agreed with a lot of the events that took place leading up to the games. Nevertheless, the games have begun and I am rooting for Canada. We will have to see how it all plays out.

BecsLifeOnline said...

Wow must be an amazing atmosphere there! Great photos too :-) Have you heard anything about the job interview yet? Becs x

BecsLifeOnline said...

By the way, those mittens are AWESOME!!

Maddy said...

I love your Olympics coverage :o) It must've been exciting to be surrounded by all that energy! I for one loved the Opening Ceremony! They did a fantastic job!

OceanDreams said...

Great Olympic coverage and I am loving your outfit and out take on everything...glad you enjoyed yourself!

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Fashion Court said...

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Alice said...

oh my goodness, this is AMAZING! you're so lucky to have such fantastic access, my gosh! (also, i am SO JEALOUS you have the canada mittens. i want a pair SO MUCH!)

love love love love all the pics. totally rad.

Memphis Steve said...

I love those Mapleleaf mittens!

Knowing you, some network executive is going to have a big-time reporter interview you, then they're going to ask you if you'd like to be a news reporter, and next thing you know you'll be replacing Katie Couric. I wouldn't be surprised. I also think it would be cool.

Search Engine Optimization said...

Oh wow, it must be a fabulous show! The view looks awesome.

Raised garden beds said...

The photos are beautiful. You’re so pretty.

Talk Pretty To Me said...

WOW! Looks like you are having a good time! The gold medal necklace is too cute!

xoxo
J

www.talkprettytome.blogspot.com

Kristin said...

That must have been such an incredibly exciting thing to witness! LOVE the mittens!

Odette said...

lol that story about your mom and the governator always makes me laugh.

betz said...

looks like you had a super fun time!!! sooo cool!

xx,
betz
http://herarmoire.blogspot.com

Belle Z. Bubbles said...

Great pics !!!
Wish I could have to chance to meet some anchors here but in France, there are so much unfriendly =')

I'm hasty to see new posts about the OGs in Vancouver !!

nofaith said...

olympics from vancouver are great.. also the pictures.ilove your post. check this site.. http://www.nfrsbp.webs.com

Sonya said...

Thanks for posting all the fabulous pictures. LOVED K.D. Lang and found myself choking up through the whole ceremony. Watched it with my husband in Tokyo, who after seeing all of our celeb vancouvites was wondering when Jason Priestly was showing up. LOL.
I am so sad to be missing all of this excitement! Go Canada!
Keep on posting!
~Sonya