Olympic Post a Day: Canada for Gold at Men’s Aerials

26 02 2010

My final live event to attend was the Men’s Aerials – Medal event. This is held at Cypress, and is the only Cypress event where the standing room tickets (which I had) weren’t cancelled, as it’s on a different part of the mountain.

I wanted to do a mountain event as part of the Olympics, but I didn’t want to go all the way to Whistler. Even the trip to Cypress is a long one:
• > 30 min skytrain
• > 15 min seabus (plus the wait for it)
• > 30 min bus ride up to Cypress (plus the wait for it)
• > 30 min walk from bus drop, through security, and into venue.

The waits weren’t long anywhere, but it’s a good two hours in, and two hours out. Because it was a medal event, there were only twelve jumpers, and they each jump twice, so the whole event takes under an hour.

While waiting for the event, we watched Canada Women’s hockey win Gold on the big screen. That ties us for #1 in Gold Medals.

It seemed like a great chance to see Canada win a medal live with 3 of the 12 jumpers being Canadian. And when I found out one of the jumper’s name is Kyle from Calgary, and I was attending the event with my cousin Kyle from Calgary, it seemed like destiny. And after the first set of jumpers, Kyle Nissen was in first, meaning he would be the final jumper.

But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. He went for a much simpler jump than the others, broke form, and had a rough landing, scoring low in his final jump. Obviously, everyone wanted to see a Gold and we left disappointed. When I got home, I saw interviews with the jumpers, and you could see how heartbroken all three Canadian jumpers were that they didn’t win the Gold at home. Tough for all involved, but congratulations to all the jumpers – it was a great experience. The fact that we didn’t freeze, worked our way into the grandstand, and could check “mountain event” off the “to-do” list, it all worked out quite nicely.

Olympic Post a Day #15: Officially a Blue Jacket

25 02 2010

Yesterday I headed to the volunteer accreditation center, and picked up my blue jacket, outfit, and also some swag it came with. I’m technical support for the Paralympics in Vancouver, and quite excited that I have an opportunity to help make the Games happen.

Volunteer Uniform

• Blue Jacket
• Blue Vest
• 2 x Blue shirts
• Waterproof pants
• Blue Toque
• Stainless steel coffee mug
• Commemorative coin
• Paralympics adaptation kit
• Accreditation badge

My badge is pretty sweet, it’s all access to everywhere – all events, athlete’s village, media centers, etc. This likely as I’m technical support, and who knows where I’ll end up fixing something.

Also in the bag of goodies (it’s gotta be near $500 worth of clothing and gear) was a pass to get a free journal. You have to pay shipping still ($12), but you can customize the cover, including the picture and title. Go to this website, (https://memories.vancouver2010.com/cart/Category/61-journals.aspx), and then use the coupon code “JOURNAL2010”.

Olympic Post a Day 12: Broken Social Scene

21 02 2010
Broken Social Scene

Broken Social Scene

I’ve mapped out concerts for each day of the Olympics, but have taken each day as it comes, see who is available and what they wish to do, and how the mood strikes me to decide what I end up doing. But I had a star in my agenda for “Special Surprise show” at the Ontario House for a while.

When I saw on twitter that it was Broken Social Scene, I jumped out of the house and went straight there. To my shock, at 3:30 pm on the Saturday, there was NO LINE to get into the venue (instead, everyone was lined up for the 4D movie and every other pavilion). No line for the bar, reasonable priced food, $6 beer, free concert, and 5 huge screens to view all the sports? I was in heaven.

The Olympic experience for me has been very Broken Social Scene-ish. Every day, it’s a different assortment of friend’s, acquaintances, events and venues. It’s the joy of doing it that brings you together coming back day after day with a different cast of characters and acquaintances.

Waiting nearly 6 hours for a concert sounds terrible, but it’s not. You make a few new friends chewing the fat with complete strangers as you wait. Even Gordon Campbell walked through and met some folks. Plus, it’s a bar, not a line.

I txted everyone I knew to get down there, but they closed the doors at 5ish I believe, not letting anyone else in – weird, there was ton of space. But then it came clear to me, they still needed to do sound check. This certainly built anticipation for the people in the know about who was coming, as about a hundred of us waited in the back of the bar watching Olympic events.

As for the show, just to clear up a couple of rumours:
• The blonde girl was not Emily Haines from Metric, it’s their current (and cuter) female lead singer Lisa Lobsinger.
• The brunette girl was not Feist, it was Julie Doirin (former bassist from Eric’s Trip).
• For once, Broken Social Scene played a phenomenal show in Vancouver, its true!

I was right up against the stage until needing the bathroom right near the end of the set. I was so close I could lean over and take a picture of the crazy peddle setups. For a larger show in a larger venue, it felt more intimate than Sloan’s Atlantic House concert that housed maybe 250 people. The event didn’t have a mosh pit and people scrapping it out for space, which many of the free shows have turned into (including a mosh pit for Bedoiun Soundclash, who’d thunk that?) Just a great vibe, and great timing as I just finished reading “This Book is Broken” a few months ago.

While I have a tough time putting sound into words, I hope these pictures and video satisfy your curiosity.

(Sorry for some double pics here, still learning how the Gallery works in WordPress)

Set list (very much a Best of, with little new material):

• Superconnected
• 7/4
• Backed Out
• Churches Under the Stairs
• Love is New
• Stars and Sons
• Out on the Weekend
• Anthems For a 17 Year Old Girl
• Flives
• Sweetest
• (Some song by Julie Doirin)
• It’s All Gonna Break
• Encore: Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.

Kevin James (and many Olympic performers) have been told, no encore. He came out to reiterate that point, and when the crowd still wouldn’t leave, he broke into a cappella version of U2’s Still Haven’t Found what I’m Looking For.

How perfect did the evening play out? Afterwards, it was drinks on the town with a couple of my best friends. As I walked out, I passed a tank at the Armoury with kids climbing all over it. And my beer night cap, I’m at the Irish Heather under a 20 foot wide U2 War poster.

Kids on tank singing Canadian National Anthem

Kids on tank singing Canadian National Anthem

Night cap beers under Giant U2 poster board

Night cap beers under Giant U2 poster board

The universe ties itself together and takes care of its young social scenes.

Olympic Post a Day 11: Hockey Game and Golden Moments

20 02 2010

Yesterday I took my wife’s sister Tara to a hockey game, Sweden vs. Belarus. Seeing Sweden is exciting, as some of the greatest Vancouver Canucks in the last decade are from Sweden, and in many ways, they are the other home team during the Olympics.

As has been the case with many of the men’s game, this ended up being much closer than one would have predicted if just looking at the line-ups on paper (see Canada / Swiss shoot-out, Russia-Latvia shoot-out). Sweden won 4-2, but when Belarus scored in the 3rd to make it 3-2, and were pressing hard, the stadium was swept into a frenzy. Many people, including me, switched loyalties and hoped for a full Belarus upset. But in the final seconds, the Sedin twins did what they do best – cycle the puck, create space, and setup the open man infront of the net. Great hockey game. Next one is Sweden – Finland on Sunday night.

Sweden - Belarus

From there, we did what many Vancouverites and tourists are doing – wander around everywhere, soaking it in. Saw new torch setup and an interview with Canadian Bronze Medalist. We didn’t head into anything as the lineups were crazy. Certainly, you can only really get into 1 – 2 events a day.

Chad and Tara at the Flame

Spring Cherry Blossoms in February!

Closer to the Flame (they moved the fence up)

Canada Medalist

A few of the hundreds of Inukshuks along False Creek

I think the Russian mascot?

Canada also won its fourth gold medal. Here is my summary of “where were you” when they one each of these.

1 – Alex Bilodeau (Moguls) – This was the most exciting, Canada’s first Gold ever won on home soil. This happened on Valentine’s Day, and I was walking with my wife from Waterfront to the Flame. While this sounds like a cliché, we literally found out by a guy screaming from a rooftop of a nearby building, “Canada wins Gold! Canada wins Gold!” The entire street erupted! We pasted our faces against the glass walls of a local café to watch the reply and his reaction.

2 – Maelle Ricker (Snowboard Cross) 3- Christine Nesbitt (Speed Skating) – These are grouped together because the story of me seeing these is the same. Both times, I was in a pub waiting the Canadian Men’s Hockey game to start, and Canada won Gold. I must say, every bar owner in town must love it when that happens, as everyone starts to celebrate even more, usually with shots or another jug of beer.

4 – Jon Montegomery (Skeleton) – This was a weird one. I was headed to my team’s hockey game on Friday night, wishing instead I was at the Deadmau5 concert. Walking into the arena, the TV was on and broadcasted, “Canada has another Golden moment.” Very inspiring way to lead into our hockey game… which we went on to lose 9 – 1.

Tonight: Broken Social Scene at Ontario House.

Olympic Post a Day 8: SLOAN!!!

16 02 2010

A full day of Olympics yesterday, and today is the same!

I met up with a buddy from work Paul, and we went to the Mint to see the medals. However, we weren’t prepared to stand in line for 4 hours to get in, and pushed on.

We wandered up Granville, and ducked into the Irish House – no wait! Jay met up with us. After a couple there and chatting with some folks, we had lunch on Granville. For the record, I would recommend having a couple of beers and food NOT in an official venue, it’s much cheaper, you can get a table, etc.

Jay Paul Chad

Chris, Paul, and Chad - work people on a non-work day!

One of the cool things is just bumping into people. Outside of planned and spontaneous calls from people to meet up, I bumped into guys from my hockey team, baseball team, and work – never mind the total strangers that you end up chatting up like long time friends.

Paul and I took an AquaBus to Granville Island. We got into the Swiss house at about 5 and it was already getting a touch crazy.

But the big highlight – and 4 hour lineup of the day – was for Sloan in the Atlantic House for a 10:45 show. Atlantic House is at the Arts Club Theatre, and I’ve been there a few times, but never so packed. PACKED – capacity is 250 tops! Curt and Vikas met up with me and Paul, and we crammed in and danced around for the packed load 1 hour set. One of the funnest concerts in a long time.

Sloan is always great, but to see them in such an initimate setting was phenominal. It was so small in there that Chris Murphy didn’t even do his trademark jump kick, he would have booted half the crowd!

Chad Curt at Sloan!

Sloan's Chris Murphy

The crew at Sloan!

I’ve cranked this out quickly, as I’m just about to head out to see USA hockey game.

Olympic Post a Day #2: Opening Ceremonies Dress Rehersal with Mom

11 02 2010

Having pairs of tickets to ten events, and having family and friends that knew about it, meant I spent a fair bit of time planning and stressing to get everyone to at least one event.  Some planning has been easier than others, but today was a lock early on.  My wife Allison and I would go to the opening ceremonies dress rehearsal.

That is, until she had a migraine and waved the flag of surrender at 1 pm.

I scrambled and called people – a lot of interest, but no one could get there in time.  Eventually, I called my Mom at work – on lunch.  Called her at home – no answer.  Didn’t matter I thought, there’s no way she’d skip out of work, especially working for the school board, coming from Surrey… it just wasn’t going to happen.

But Mom called me back, she was very keen.  Ecstatic, and ready to leave work at a drop of a hat, damn to any consequences (turns out it was report card day, every secretaries favourite)!

It reminded me of way back, when I was Grade 1 or 2, when Expo ’86 was in Vancouver.  One day, she came shortly after recess, and removed me from school, to take me to Expo ’86. And while I don’t remember all of Expo clearly, I remember this moment very well – the first (and a very rare) time that school came second.  “Something like this happens once in a lifetime, and it’s important you take these opportunities.”

Today was my receipt – pulling my Mom out of school early to partake in a world event.  And while it was only a dress rehearsal, the whole event was amazing and breathtaking.  In BC place waiting for the event to start, my Mom said, “I just can’t believe it’s here, and I’m here.”  Later, in the middle of one of the song and dance performances full of special effects, I looked over, and my Mom had a grin of awe, like a child.  I would have taken a picture if I was allowed to bring in a camera.

While I’m sure to have tons of Olympic experiences, that’ll be a hard one to top.


22 10 2009

Wow, I suck and have been neglectful of my blog.  Been too busy on twitter, building a world in Moodle, and funerals and weddings in the other world.

So here’s something completely different.  Going to a concert with Allison (Metric) and Paul (Shout out out out).  Here’s how the one with wifey will likely sound:


Edit: how bad do I suck? I can’t seem to manage embedding the widget with Embed code on my clipboard!