The Winter Olympics

Are you guys totally wrapped up in the Olympics? I've been able to catch a lot of the finals live online, but I still TiVo and watch it every night until 1:00 am, and then watch a few events first thing in the morning. I'm pumped about David Boudia's bronze, Nathan Adrian's silver, and of course Lotche's and Franklin's gold!

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Way back in 2003 when we found out that the 2010 Winter Olympics would be held in Vancouver I knew I had to attend this once in a lifetime thing. The minute the tickets went on sale to the United States, I frantically searched online. Our only criteria was that it couldn’t cost a ton of money (like $400 for figure skating or $700 for the opening or closing ceremonies) and that wasn’t too boring or cold (like any event taking place on either mountain). We agreed that ice hockey or speed skating would be the best events for us. I got online about five minutes after the sale began and already had limited options. Since the site was so busy, it kept crashing and tickets in my cart were given up each time I logged back in. I ended up with Men’s Preliminary Ice Hockey: Czech Republic vs. Slovakia. Awesome. There was no way we were willing to pay what the hotels are asking for to stay in Vancouver ($750 a night!), so we decided that we’d just go up for a very, very long day.

And that it was.

After getting only two hours of sleep the night before because Nolan was sick, we dropped him off at my parents' house and drove up to Vancouver. Surprisingly, the wait at the border was ZERO minutes. There were seven lanes open and only two cars. We got to a park and ride in Surrey around 2:00 pm and took the SkyTrain into the city and spent some time on the waterfront.

And of course we checked out the Olympic Flame. It was fenced in and the viewing area was crowded, but I managed to get a few shots between the chain link fence. Apparently this cauldron was closer to the public than any other in Olympics history.

Since our event wasn’t until 9:00 pm, we had a lot of time to kill. We wandered the streets as we made our way towards the arena. We stopped in shops and glanced at performers. All of the hospitality houses had huge lines so we didn’t bother going in. After meeting up with friends and talking about their day, we realized we didn’t miss out on much inside the houses anyway. We went into a few bars to grab drinks and kill time. At a bar called Jimmy’s, the TVs showed the medal ceremony for Women’s Snowboarding Cross. The Canadian patrons were pumped about just winning gold. That was pretty fun to witness.

Don't ask.

We made it to Canada Hockey Place just before the lines got too long. Although we didn’t intentionally get tickets to see Czech Republic play, as we learned more about the team, we started getting excited about them. Sixteen teammates currently play in the NHL. And there is a little rivalry with Slovakia after they lost to Czech in the 2006 quarter finals, who went on to win the bronze. We also heard that although both teams are considered underdogs, they each have a good shot of winning a medal this year. So I got my Czech gear and we took our seats.

All Jacob and I have ever watched is WHL and our team (Everett Silvertips) is actually pretty good, but now they seem like babies after watching this game. Check out this shot:

We cheered the Czechs on to a 3-1 victory.

At midnight, we boarded the SkyTrain, made it back into the U.S. around 1:15 am and got home at 4:00 am. It was a long day but so worth it. Employees, volunteers, spectators from various countries (and everyone else we encountered) were friendly, happy and just trying to have fun. 


Jen said...

This is so cool! I would love to experience the Olympics in person one day.

ErinMSW said...

Hubs and I were just talking the other night and neither of us really remember watching much of the 2008 Summer Olympics, but we are totally into this year's.

I went to the Atlanta Summer games in 1996. We got to see basketball (China vs Brazil, I think). And then we got tickets to synchronized swimming, which was completely awesome (I was a sychro swimmer for 9 years). And we also got tickets to the gymnastics gala, which is just kind of an exhibition that all the gymnasts put on. They are done with competing, so they just go out and have fun. It was incredible to be able to see the Magnificent 7 in person! We were SUPER lucky to get those tickets! It was a great experience, and I would totally do that again.

Kodie said...

That's awesome! Going to an Olympics is definitely on my bucket list. I was so bummed that Chicago lost the bid for the Olympics because that's just a hop, skip and a jump from me. If they ever do come back to the US I will save up my money the minute I find out.

I think it stinks that this year people can't see the flame until track and field starts. They should at least let people go in and take pictures. That was some poor planning on their part.

Ashlee Miller said...

FUN! I'm so jealous. I think it would be such an experience to go and watch the games whether it be summer or winter.

Leanna Vera said...

What a wonderful experience! Going to the Olympics is on my bucket list.

Kat@shop.school.sleep. said...

That is so cool!! I personally like the summer Olympics more than winter (probably because I dislike snow and hate to be cold), but I would love an opportunity to go to the Olympic games at least once in my lifetime!

Karen Peterson said...

I lived in Utah during the 2002 games in Salt Lake. Somehow, I never made it to a single event even though the curling events were ON MY COLLEGE CAMPUS. I know it's ONLY curling, but still. I could have WALKED there.

I'll never forgive myself.

Tiffany @ Polka Dotted Cats said...

Wow! What a great experience! Even if it was a super long day. I had no idea you had to actually purchase tickets. Crazy.

hotpants™ said...

That's awesome. I definitely prefer the summer events, but love The Olympics regardless. I've been recording all the coverage and trying to avoid spoilers. Gymnastics will always be my first love. GO USA!