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[personal profile] cleaver404
Here's the super overdue Olympics report, before I start forgetting it all, myself, hah!

Day 1 (2/15): we headed up early Mon. morning, worried that the border would suck, it didn't, we got our car searched this trip up, but it was Scooty Puff Jr., so it didn't take long to search the Smart ;)  30 min. probably total time getting through.  Got up to Vancouver, picked up tickets at will call, and wandered around downtown a bit.  Since we didn't know where to park, we dropped $20 on "event parking" right near Pacific Collesseum, watched the pairs final, the top 3 sure were the best 3 (2 Chinese & the 1 German couple), was up in the nosebleeds, but didn't even mind/notice.  There was a kid sitting in front of me that was totally ADD and hyper, kept rocking as hard as he could back & forth in his chair.  His dad mercifully chilled him out eventually.  We headed back across the border that night, stayed at the Silver Inn Casino near Blaine, as that was the only place we could book for that night.

Day 2 (2/16): back across the border, each trip across back & forth was about 5 min. crossing the border, was amazing.  Anyhow, headed up & parked in a lot & took the train into town & bus back to the Collesseum for Men's Short Pogram.  It was also awesome, we sat 6 rows back & could see all the skaters getting on/off the ice, was really cool.  We sat right in front of Jeremy Abbott's parents, they guessed (rightly) that I'd been skater & we chatted about Colorado Springs and coaches we all knew, etc., was really neat to meet them & the rest of his family... then he had his worst skate of the year, awwkwaaard.  Headed back home, got in at like 12:30, and worked Wed./Thurs.

Day 3 (2/19): zipped up to the same giant parking area & trained into town, checked in w/ Samesun Backpacker's hostel, had them keep our tickets in their safe, but this was the only day as it turned out that we shared a room w/ 4 other folks, 2 were asleep really early, the other 2 came in super late, there was partying out in the street all night right in front of our place, but we had to get up early next day for our trip up to Cypress for Ladies' Aerials freestyle skiing.  This (Fri.) night we had compulsory dance, too, and for those that don't know, it's everyone doing the same dance all night, so you get really good at that song after you watch 20+ couples skate it; but was really neat to see the differences of the great dancers vs. the ... less great. ;)

Day 4 (2/20): we were one block away from the bus-stop we needed to catch to get up to the park & ride for the Cypress shuttle, but we couldn't find it, so we cabbed i this morning (to the Cypress park & ride), it's about 40 min. to Cypress, got to see those ladies flying like 50 feet in the air, was nuts!  This was our only afternoon off, so we visited the torch and waited in line over an hour to get into the German team fan-house, but once we did, it was totally worth it (met lots of poeple, had good beer and watched the rest of the days' events on giant screens at big long tables).

Day 5 (2/21): Similar day to 3, we hit the Original Dance that night (that's the folksy ne), was fun to see all the couples from all around the world with different takes on either their own nationality's folk music, or another's (i.e. a French team does a cowboy/cowgirl routine).  We tended to spend a lot of time at the bar at the hostel after our day was "done," we'd wander Granville and Robson, every night was a big ole party, and we had to deal with the USA beating Canada in hockey around here.  ;)  I still wore my flag around on my back the whole time, Canadians were all pretty cool & friendly.  Anyhow, we'd wander the mardi-gras-esque crowds and then head in to the hostel where it was convenient (and relatively cheap) to unwind.  Beer/wine at the venues, themselves, were all $7+, for cheap beer.  Was off to bed & ready for the next day then, was great to have our private room the rest of the trip, shared bathoom right near our room was all fine, too.

Day 6 (2/22): another very similar oneto day 5 here, watched the dance final & boy people sure loved the Canadian couple who won.  I liked Davis and White, our best U.S. team, I thought they could have won it, but hey, 2nd ain't bad!  As we're sitting there, I looke 4 seats down the aisle and right behind us is my old coach (Kathy Casey) who we were hoping to meet up with anyway, but then she's sitting right there in our section hanging out there out of the 10,000 seats she could have picked!  So was too cool, got to chat w/ her about the dancers as she was taking notes on how to help the U.S.'s teams and describe how good the other teams were (she works with the ISU & US teams to try to make the US's teams stronger).  Was really cool to see her perspective on all the teams & catch up w/ her, amazing.

Day 7: also about the same routine, we hop our bus to Pacific Collesseum after having some awesome donner (like gyro meat in a pita, yum!) and watched Ladies' short program from the nosebleeds again.  I was so impessed with Mao Asada, but Yu-na Kim just dominted the scores, like shattering her own previously set world record in the short & then the long.  It was very cool to see ALL the skaters, too--for those that don't know, TV airs all of like 1/4th of the total skaters.  And yes, some of the bottom most girls aren't that good or competitive, but you get to see the up-&-coming skaters & katers from all over the world that you just otherwise don't if you're not there in person!  I highly recommend any fans of any of these events go sometime in your life if you can.

Day 8: this one was another 6 a.m. morning and a crazy run-around.  The night before we dropped off most of our bulky bags & clothes at Scooty Puff Jr. & parked Scooty at the Whistler park-&-ride that night & bussed to our room.  So we bus back to park-&-ride, head up to Whistler (about 1:30 shuttle time), more long lines (oh ya, we had a crap ton of lines everywhere we went, from restaurants to events, oi).  We get through security & head up a ski lift to Women's Giant Slalom.  We got to watch Lindsey Vonn break her pinky right as she came into view of all us spectators.  Still banged our cowbells & waved our flags, but Julia Mancuso had that drama then about having to re-run her run and be way down in the rankings.  Was too bad for the U.S., but cool for us to get to see Whistler.  We then shuttle back to park & ride, move to the Cypress park & ride again, and head up for the women's aerials final, which was in the fog and bright lights as they did it after dark.  It was eerie & surreal, but super-fun & the Aussie that won held off a really tough trio of Chinese girls, their (Aussie) fans went NUTS!  I started feeling a bit run down at this point, and thought my throat might have been a bit raw from all the cheering, but turns out the next day I was darned sick (& still getting over it a bit), but thankfully it was after all our events & we were on our way back.  Got in about 12:30 yet again, and Nicole worked from home that next day & I called in sick unfortunately, but was on my feet again & back at work like normal; but we have a ton of pins, clothes, stories, and amazing memories we brought back.  Again, if you ever have a chance to go to an Olympics, do it, and to it up right, we sure did and I hope we can again some time!
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March 2010


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