Thursday, February 18, 2010

vancouver 2010...a closer look

We had tickets for the medal ceremony last night...but left for Vancouver in the early afternoon...planning to get a closer look at all things Olympic while we were there.

We joined the crowds at the waterfront...where the Olympic cauldron burns brightly. How this large structure remained secret until the opening ceremonies, is beyond me!

We walked a short distance to Canada Place...and to the second level of the Pan Pacific Hotel..which has been transformed into an aboriginal village for the duration of the Olympics.

A canoe...carved out of 600-year-old the centrepiece of the village called Kla-how-ya...meaning welcome. We strolled through the hotel...and out onto the deck...beneath the signature sails of Canada Place to join the visitors from around the world who were enjoying the incredible views on a clear winter's day.

Floating on the water...not far away...are the iconic Olympic rings.

Back on the street...we passed by enthusiastic pin collectors. It's a big Olympic pins.

A small crowd gathered around a dogsled team...which somehow looked out of place on the city streets.

The owner...Olav Falsnes of the Northwest Territories...wearing his fur trimmed parka is chatting it up with passers by. He is in town to promote tourism to Canada's north and to market his sled dog business.

It was Alberta Day at the Olympics...and there were lots of cowboy hats out and about. We met visitors from countries around the globe...all sporting their national clothing. I wish tourists would always dress that's rather nice to identify their native land.

We made our way to B.C. Place Stadium well before the evening ceremony. After all...these are the Olympics...we were advised to go early in order to clear security. Think airport security check!

How thrilling to be a part of the medal ceremonies in a packed house...a sea of red.

Ben Mulroonery and Tamara Taggert kept us entertained until the Mounties in red serge arrived...bearing the Olympic flag. Then it was on to the medal presentations...the highlight being a gold medal for Canada's first female athlete to receive a gold at home. Maƫlle Ricker...entered to thunderous applause and a standing ovation...

...and heard 'Oh Canada' sung by a very large and enthusiastic choir. To share in the moment with all of the athletes...and to stand for the national anthem of each of the gold medal countries was awesome!

It was Alberta night...and our tickets included a concert by Paul Brandt following the presentations. You don't have to be from Alberta to like his music...and he's a good guy besides...being heavily involved with organizations such as World Vision and Samariatn's Purse. We stayed to the end...and then joined the throngs on the streets.

Igloos and ice...we can make it look like winter!

The outdoor ice-rink on Robson was a busy place late at was the official Canadian Olympic store at The Bay. The line-up to get into the store stretched around the block at 11:00 pm...and it has been that way since the games began. It seems Canadian Olympic souvenirs are a hot item.
Before we left for home...we saw the fireworks in the distance...

...and watched the nightly interactive light show over the waters of English Bay. The Olympics will only be here once...and we are enjoying the experience.


  1. I just can't wait now for this experience to happen. Whistler was one thing...but this will be another milestone in life.
    I loved your last statement,
    "The Olympics will only be here once...and we are enjoying the experience"
    That is so true.

  2. It was great to see the ceremony experience. They only show a tiny bit of what is really going on on the telly. I did not realize the crowds that are there to cheer and help celebrate with the Olympians. How marvelous.

  3. A real once-in-a-lifetime experience! Thanks for sharing it - we watched the ceremony on TV - I loved that Maelle sang the anthem on the podium!

  4. that was such a great post, i almost feel like i am experiencing it myself. sounds so good all the fun and Olympic excitement that you get to experience.

  5. You really are taking it in and I'm glad you are sharing the photos and experience with us. I know the weather doesn't bode well for the snow events but it sure makes it beautiful to walk around the city in...

  6. Oh I'm hoping that the Olympics will be there again for the summer version some year. Wouldn't that be great?!

    Lovely pictures and how fun that you were able to see Miss Ricker win the gold.

  7. Judy, you got some really fantastic shots and as usual .. I knew you would be able to find the really special places off the street.
    It was so special being at that Victory Ceremony. . .and the most special part was singing O Canada with so many proud Canadians.

  8. I'm enjoying all the Canadian first hand "on the streets" reports! And I totally agree with the native costumes...although one would have to decide what era costume was indicated. Should American's dress like the Founding Fathers with powdered wigs? Hee hee...that would be a sight.

    My favorite Canada attire (aside from Mountie, of course) was the Hudson Bay Blanket stripes worn around the neck of the team flag bearer at the opening ceremonies. I was glad someone in the bunch wore that iconic symbol of your land.

  9. It's always a treat to get your perspective ... the things you see!

  10. I am so glad you are enjoying it up close and personal, Judy! I always hope they will have the Winter Olympics in Denver, Colorado one day in the future so I ca experience it with my son and his family.

    It must have been wonderful to see the gold medal ceremony for Ms. Ricker!

  11. I am so glad you are getting a chance to enjoy the experience ... I am loving having the Olympics in town... the energy is just amazing!

  12. A most fascinating post! I am getting a real education on a part of the world that I was unfamiliar with. I am impressed with the patriotism of the Canadians. It seems to be disappearing here in the US. I am also impressed with the beauty and creativity in the city of Vancouver. I want to visit it now more than ever. I am enjoying the Winter Olympics more than I anticipated that I would thanks to you, my Canadian friends, in fact I almost feel like I am there with you at times, due to your great narrative and pictures. Thank you!

  13. Thank you for sharing your Olympic experiences. They make me feel like I was there!
    So neat you could be there in person!! Memories for a lifetime!

  14. Oh Judy how exciting to be there in person. I envy you guys, gorgeous pictures, so much activity and spirit going on.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience with all of us who only get to see this on TV.

    Bless you!

  15. How wonderful that you were able to attend the medal ceremony. It must have been awesome. Thank you for sharing it with us. I continue to enjoy your behind the scenes Olympic posts.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson