Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What I learned at the Vancouver Olympics.

After a number of sun-filled glorious days at the Olympic games I thought I’d summarize my experience. Sorry about the lack of tweets but Internet wasn’t that accessible where I was staying.

  1. The crowd in Vancouver is awesome. Far from an unruly mob the crowd propelled and energized athletes and made mundane tasks, such as queueing, fun. Without a doubt the most powerful crowd was that at the Canada-US hockey game on Sunday. Only high-fives and embraces tempered the ear-splitting roar. Personally, I was at my best when some American fans in the next section started chanting, “U-S-A.” I promptly responded with my loudest “GoCanadaGo” rousing those around me to drown them out. Despite the loss it was the best hockey game I’ve ever been to, mostly due to the crowd.

  2. Translink stepped up to provide fast-efficient service. (Despite my reservations surrounding Translink’s paving of the Whistler rail line and media reports of long waits.)

  3. Events were were on-time, exciting, and well organized. The awesome volunteers and entertainers dimmed inconveniences such as security waits and the bottleneck at the pedestrian walkway into Canada Hockey Place.

  4. The pavilions were neither well-organized nor on-time, but exciting for the most part (Ontario’s 4–D movie and First Nations Pavilion’s daily sampler platter were my favourites). The largest lacuna was in web presence (the official site has no map and speaks in terms of the facilities “upon completion will have … .”) The best information on the web, though not easy to come by via Google (a lady in line showed me a print out), is at CityCaucus. Furthermore, no comprehensive schedule of entertainment seems to exist.

  5. Vancouver rocks when it’s sunny.

  6. The Olympics are magical; at least, they contain many magical moments. The most captivating for me (and my family) happened watching Virtue and Moir’s final skate. We had watched them live during the compulsory skate at the PNE, so we were quite enthused about the sport. Then we started watching the final round on TV, but had to leave part-way to catch the ferry. We got to Tsawwassen as fast as we could and ran into the terminal in search of a TV. We found a small (but vigorous) crowd huddled around the sole TV. Everyone clapped, cheered, and (some) cried, while our collective anticipation over the performance and score was quickened by the imminent message that boarding would ensue. Community. Magic. The Games.


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