Finally, I will get my Olympic post up...it's only taken me about 2 and a half months! In fairness to me, I did have an awful lot of photos to sort through, and this post has taken almost all day to get up.
We arrived in Vancouver about 2 weeks before the Olympics, but the Olympic excitment was already at 10 out of 10. Giant Canadian flags were popping up all over the place...
These guys were popping up everywhere. This display was in the main train/seabus station in town. Apparently Quatchi's (and Miga's) choice of mobile phone brand is Samsung.
In the last few days before the Olympics actually started, we were lucky enough to have the torch relay come past Peter's front gate where we were staying.
Even better, there was a changeover right there!
We chose a bar in North Vancouver to watch the opening ceremony in. It turned out to be an excellent choice, as balcony looked right out over the Burrard Inlet to where Wayne Gretsky lit the official Olympic Cauldron, and these specatular fireworks went off.
And there is the cauldron just after it was lit.
On the first day of the Olympics we headed over to Granville Island. Ashley McIsaac, the punk fiddler who had played in the opening ceremony was doing a free concert at the "Atlantic House", a place supposed to celebrate the Atlantic provinces of Canada. All the other provinces had one of these houses, as well as quite a few other international places. So off we all went on the saturday morning. We enjoyed a wander about Granville Island for a bit, but the weather was pretty bad, so we went off to have lunch. After lunch, we thought we had better check out the line, and when we found it was quite long already, and that people were waiting 4+ hrs to get in, we joined it. That was at 2pm. Three hours later we got inside, with the assurance that we would be able to order food at 7 pm. 7 pm rolls around and then we were told we can't order till 8. 8 rolls around (and by this point we were getting mighty hungry) and the waiter is nowhere to be seen. When we finally track him down, he told us we can't order food because there is an electrical problem. Ok...fine, that might have been believable had food not still been coming from the kitchen, just to the other side of the restaurant. We tried everything to get some food, but we told we couldn't leave without rejoining the line, and we weren't able to order anything in, so it was most frustrating later on when someone walked through the crowd with three takeaway pizza boxes to the VIP room. So, by the time Ashley McIsaac came on, none of us were much in the mood, so we listened to half a set, and left to get food.
So unfortunately it wasn't the best start to the Olympics.
One good thing about the Olympic games was that there was an abundance of mounties around, so of course everyone's favourite patriotic little dinosaur had to get in on the act.
Sadly, I had a couple of days where I missed out on going out. I got sick in the middle of the Olympics, and spent 3 days lying on the couch coughing up my lungs. When I eventually got out again, the first thing we did was head out to the celebration site at Surrey.
This is a million dollar coin...though we weren't allowed to try and lift that one.
Our big Olympic finale was attending the Olympic event that I had booked tickets for last September. It was the final night of the short track speed skating.
The Olympic inukshuk. The best thing about the venue was that even though we were sitting really far away from the ice (so far in fact that you couldn't even see the tier that we were sitting in existed on tv), we had a great view of the whole rink.
Here's the venue before it started filling up. The skaters on the ice were just warming up.
The men's relay team from Germany.
The lone Australian competitor
Warming up with one of the Candians
Miga welcoming everyone
All the world flag around the roof
The on-ice cameraman. This is a job I wouldn't be so sure about doing, given the speed of those skaters, and how often they wiped out on the ice. Also, we all thought he looked kind of funny.
Suits on skates! These guys are the starter and the guy who watches for false starts (which there were a lot of)
Starting one of the men's 1500 races...I think it's probably a semi final.
Quatchi telling us to be quiet. You had to be quiet for all the race starts because the skaters needed to be able to hear their instructions. There were quite a few false starts because of yelling people disrupting things.
The start of one of the womens 1000m races. A semi final too I think.
More of the womens 1000m
This one was the end of the mens 1500 m final. It was a most dramatic finish, with Canada winning gold and bronze, and the Korean guy sliding across the line on his tummy for silver, after being thumped by the American, who was of course disqualified.
The gold medal kiss! She also won medals for Canada in the long track speed skating.
The neat thing about being at the event in person was that you get to see everything that goes on between races when the commentators are usually babbling. Was much more interesting!
Some of the fan groups
This is during the mens relay final. If there was ever a race that matchs the indoor cycling events at the Summer olympics for insanity, and not having a clue what's going on till the end, this would be it. Being able to see the whole rink meant we could watch all the skaters, rather than just the ones that were on their turn. It was very exciting, but just a bit confusing!
One of the confusing bits, "the push", where you'd get at least 8 skaters on the ice at once.
Canada leading the way!
Wow...was an amazing race, and an amazing atmosphere.
More gold medal kisses
A little bit of cross border friendliness.
Something I'll give the Koreans for this olympics. Two things actually, they ruled at the speed skating, and whenever they won anything, whatever colour it was, they were just so happy! It was really nice to see such gracious sportsmanship.
Two VERY ecstatic Canadians!
Muk muk asking for applause...applause? I don't think so...I lost my voice again that night.
Gold and Bronze for Canada!
Gold to China, Silver to USA, Bronze to Italy
Boy this girl was fast, she got two records that night.
And lastly, GOLD TO CANADA!!!!!!! This was the only event that Canada got two golds in one night, and I'm so glad we were there to see it.
The flags going up for to relay. It's nice how into the anthem Canadians are, especially in comparison to Australians.
The relay boys with their golds