Feb 12, 2010 Olympics, Cultural Olympiad

Kla how ya Tillicum.   (Indian, for how goes it)  With me, just fine, in fact, more than fine.  I know this website has a dyslexic/hyperlexic theme but  I am departing for a few blogs to share my time at the 2010 Olympics.  This is my day three, Feb 12th.  Opening day. 

I am sure many of you watched the Olympic opening tonight.  That show speaks for itself – they did a wonderful job!!!!  For me, a highlight was seeing Barbara Ann Scott one of the eight carrying the Olympic Flag.  I remember when she won her gold.  I was so excited for her!!!  (for those of you who have NO IDEA who she is, she was the winning figure skater!)   I did talk with my nine year old nephew, Owen and my eleven year old niece, Jane as they sat in BC Place before the show began.  Jane said, Ann, if they don’t do anything else I am happy.  BC Place is beautiful and they have given each of us a packet of stuff:  a white jacket, a drum, a light.  We are going to be part of the show.  We are going to bang a drum. !!!!!!!!!.  I am so excited.  Then, Owen came on.  Ann, it looks like someone is going to ski here – there is a ski run.  Oh, it’s so wonderful.   I was just so excited those kids were going to have this special evening.

Choosing where to watch last night’s spectacle was my challenge. I couldn’t make up my mind.   I was toying with going back to the Live City – Sue’s venue – for there are two huge screens. In fact I set out to go there when it started to rain.  I decided tonight was not the night for rain, I really wanted to see the show, not darting umbrellas – so I headed for a bar. It took me a few trys before I was satisfied with my environment but then I settled in.  A restaurant had been very smart and enclosed their veranda at the front of their venue – room for six tables and a huge screen.  I joined a table of two Swedish guys here for the entire duration of the Olympics – determined that Sweden will take back the hockey gold. We had a great time.  Around us were tables of Canadians who knew the names of the Canadian athletes and singers so we were well informed.  There were about twenty of us – we had our own party. All of us were cheerers – and cheer, hoot and holler we did.  It was a fun evening marveling at the creativity and talent – both sport and artistic being displayed before us. And, when Wayne Gretsky took to the street with the torch, we were just a block away and could see him start on his journey through the city – down Georgia to Thurlow, turn right and down to the water on the Stanley Park side of the huge Canada Pavilion from Expo 86. 

 It’s odd, I walked by that site this afternoon and said to myself, what a shame that Vanoc (Vancouver Olympic Committee) has put up a wall along here blocking the beautiful view of the mountains.  Well, there was method in their madness.  They were hiding the form that created the base for the flame. I have just come in from viewing the flame, there.   It is truly spectacular.  My little phone camera doesn’t do it justice unfortunately – there is so much light emanating from flaming sculpture that the subtle blues get lost in the picture.  Oh well.  I have it in my mind.

 The streets of Vancouver are in a celebratory mode – especially around Robson Square. Everyone is having fun!!

By the way, I did get up early this morning to watch the flame go down Denman.  I woke up and thought, well, how silly not to make the effort even though I saw it last night.  I wasn’t disappointment.  The street was lined with cheering crowd three rows deep.  One young couple had just come racing from Stanley Park.  They had wanted to see Arnold Schwarzenegger (sp?).  It seems many others did.  Interesting eh?

And, another woman told me that her brother, who is policeman in Manitoba is here with several of his colleagues.  These and many more security types are staying on three cruise ships in the harbor – being treated with great care.  Fun eh?

Today I was dealing with basics, like picking up my ice skating ticket for Tuesday. That was easy.  It was awaiting me and no line!!!. However, I have been trying to get a ticket to the Awards Ceremony on Monday night with no luck.  Finally I discovered why.  Vanoc has tickets, they just parcel them out in small doses and one has to be in the right place at the right time to get one.  Most frustrating!   I will keep trying.  Somehow I will win.

I decided to explore pavilions today.  Now, the definition of a pavilion here is not like a World Exposition.  These are, for the most part, tiny centers with some info – some better than others. Be sure to check out the Bell Pavilion if you are coming.  In my journey to find pavilions I was wandering down by the old Train Station – it has another name now????? – to discover that the parking lot has been taken over by the Germans who have created a beer Haus.  I was hungry and felt sure they would have sausages.  Correct!!!!.  The place was a mad house – noisy and crazy.  I got my sausage, asked for a non alcoholic beer – they thought I was crazy – so I ended up with water.  I found a place to sit – and began chatting with a couple from Beijing.  Quite fascinating.  He’s thirty seven, made his money in technology in China, has retired and is now searching for his next whatever.  He seems to think he ought to go to Harvard for an MBA.  His friends tell him he is over qualified.  We had quite a conversation.

 Time for bed.  The days just flew by.  I must have walked nearly eight miles today.  My body is looking forward to being prone!!!!!

 Several of you have responded saying you are enjoying these reflections.  I am glad.  Writing them is a great way to relax after my day

 PS.  Walking home I passed a rather proper type couple sitting under an umbrella drinking coffee.  They had the tiny drums in tow.  I asked:  Was it fun playing them?   Oh, it was marvelous, and what was even better, we didn’t have to clap – we could just bang, and bang and bang!!!!!!!

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