Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games

The past week has been a week of transition in our house... we are trying to figure out just exactly what we are supposed to be doing with ourselves now that the Olympics are over! For over 2 weeks, we sat in wonder and amazement, glued to our television watching all of the events unfold. From day one when Canada won their first ever gold medal on home soil, to the final event in which Canada won the gold in men's hockey, we watched it all. I even became a fan of curling... a sport that I have never ever understood in the past.

We didn't have tickets to any of the events, but there was no way that we were going to miss out on the opportunity of a life time that was happening practically in our own backyard! On Valentine's Day, we loaded up and headed to downtown Vancouver to become a part of the excitement.

This was Reagan's first time on the Sky Train Transit (it's like the monorail at Disney) and I think she would have been happy to have just stayed on the train all day long!
We took the train to the Waterfront Station... the last stop possible. This was the perfect place to start our tour of downtown, as the outdoor Olympic Cauldron was less than a five minute walk away. In a sea of proud Canadians enjoying the Olympic atmosphere, Anna walked proudly waving her American flag!
Seeing the Olympic Cauldron was absolutely amazing. The Olympic rings were in the background off of Coal Harbor, and the view of the two of them was really inspirational and breathtaking for a sports fan like me. I have such respect and admiration for all of the athletes that have committed their lives to their sport, and I have always viewed making it to the Olympics as what has to be the ultimate highlight of an athlete's career. I will be the first to admit that I got a bit choked up just from the sight of the Olympic flame!
We wandered the streets, mingling with people from all over the world for hours that day. Everyone was so happy and excited to be there that it truly felt like the whole world was your neighbor! Even without tickets, there was so much to see and do.
Anna and I both wanted to purchase some official Team USA Olympic gear, but we were extremely disappointed by Mr. Ralph Lauren. The cheapest T-SHIRT that we could find was $135! Sure, we could have gotten a USA t-shirt from a street vendor for next to nothing, but only the items by Ralph Lauren had the official 2010 Team USA logo. I fell in love with a fleece pullover... until I saw the $445 price tag. After seeing the price of $660 for the winter coat that Anna wanted to purchase, she decided that a picture of her in the coat would be just as good!
We finished up the day by walking down to the Olympic Village where all of the athletes were staying. Of course, we didn't have clearance to actually enter the village... but it was pretty cool to see it just the same! The Olympic Village was directly across from BC Place Stadium and the Canada Hockey Place Stadium, separated by Falls Creek. BC Place is where the opening and closing ceremonies took place, and where all of the daily medal celebrations occurred. Canada Hockey Place Stadium (also known as GM Place, home of the Vancouver Canucks) is where most of the hockey games were played.
All of the flags of the participating countries were waving proudly in the breeze in front of the Olympic Village, and it made us proud to just simply be there and to be a part of the atmosphere.
It will be another 2 years before I can get my Olympic "fix", but I will probably never get another chance to experience it up close and personal like this ever again. My wish is that Reagan will be able to remember being able to be a part of the excitement, and that many years from now she will be able to tell her children about going to THE OLYMPICS!


Bethany said...

How incredible to have seen that first hand!! Thanks for sharing all of the amazing photos! My close friend Marcy is a former Olympic pairs skater and I still look back at her photos from Torino, Italy all the time!!

Anonymous said...

Those photos are incomparable; what a phenomenal experience. My four year old even came home from preschool excited about curling...and we're not in Canada.
Sorry about Mr. Lauren; not all Americans are alike. I will keep my eyes open for leftover official gear at his outlet shops...

J.J. said...

I got to go to the Atlanta Summer games in '96 and loved it. This was before I met I went with my brother and his wife. So awesome.

So glad that you and the family got to go!!! Great pics

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

Wonderful pictures, especially of the cauldron! What a great experience. That had to be so fun and exciting!

Jenn@the loves of jenn said...

How awesome that you got to do that - JEALOUS!!! Great pics!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Great pictures and what a wondeful experience.....