Gonna be a big ol’ shindig…

An olympic torch, up close and personal

So next week begins the biggest thing to ever hit Vancouver, the 2010 Winter Olympics.  The excitement in the air is palpable, and the city has done their best to make us beautiful to the world’s visitors.  I hadn’t left the North Shore for several days before this past monday, and the atmosphere downtown was astounding.  Everyone is excited about this, and everything is in place to make it a spectacular event.   Everywhere one looks one sees olympic jackets from various countries.  Of all the ones I’ve seen I like Russia’s logo the best, although the colors don’t do much for me.  There are literally thousands of people walking around in blue jackets; I believe these are the volunteers and VanOC staff.  I kinda dig those jackets, and the only reason I didn’t volunteer was because I had assumed I’d be back working by now, and who knew what my availability/schedule would be.  Little did I know I’d be still looking, slowly going batshit…but that’s another story.

A couple of volunteers I snuck a pic of while walking...hope vanoc doesnt sue...

It’s unfortunate that I’m not in a position to fully sample what’s going on in town right now, but I am able to see a few things; there are a certain amount of free happenings going on.  The other night I walked past the olympic clock and there is a little display there by Omega, the official time keeper of the Olympics.  They were giving out hats, so naturally I got one of those…told the girl I’d prefer a watch…  They also have a bobsled set up there and people were lining up to sit in it and have their picture taken in it.  Along Granville Mall they have some wierd  little doohickeys set up, kinda looks like a Japanese game show.  Not sure what it signified but people loved it.  They also have some art objects there on display; not like paintings and but sculptures and light sculptures etc.  It’s not a huge display but it was interesting.  I must say I’ve never seen Granville street so clean from Georgia to Nelson.  There are other places as well, I just haven’t been to them yet, so I can’t really speak about them.  One thing that is cool is the English Bay light show.  It goes every night when it’s dark, and it raised a real shitstorm when it was announced, cuz people were all concerned it was going to shine lights into their west end apartments.  It does not, but from where I sit on the north shore it appears to be pretty cool.  Of course, I have a weakness for lightshows, so…

Ruth showing her spirit and bobsledding skills.

There are also rumors of these huge A list parties going on.  I guess it’s pretty safe to assume that I won’t be invited to a plethora of these, so I won’t have to shave those days.  One rumor I head has Prince hosting a party, other rumors have other huge names performing or hosting.  Man it would be cool to get an invite to some of those, but alas, I’m just a dude.  I probably don’t own a nice enough pair of shoes.  Although, I do own a pretty spectacular collection of Fluevogs.  But I digress.  There are a boatload of other musical events going on as well, several of them at no cost but the time it takes one to get there.  The Fox has a listing of some of the various things to do here.  It’s exciting indeed.

I have tickets to only to events.  When the lottery was on for residents to purchase tix, I put in for a whole bunch, but only got two events.  Both of which are Men’s Hockey, but neither of which are medal rounds.  That’s ok, I can watch the medal games on TV.  One of the games I have is quarter final and one of them is semi final.  I believe that the only team I can be partly sure of seeing, is that if the americans make it that far (which they will), we should see them.  I hope its against a good team, not South Doucheovia or something.  Regardless, I’m very excited about going to these games.  I almost sold the tickets a while back, money situation being what it is, but I just cannot bring myself to totally exclude myself from such a once in a lifetime event.  I was within spitting distance of an Olympics (Calgary in 1988 was only an hour or so drive) once before, and didn’t take part in any way so I’m not going to miss this one.

I took all these pics with my iphone. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to get a good night pic of the clock because of the glare, but I tried. 😉

The other side of the clock...also with lotsa bad glare effects

It’s not all good though.  One thing that really bugs me about this olympics is the fact that you cannot buy anything or get money from an ATM at an event with anything but a Visa or Visa debit.  Now, I understand, Visa paid a bazillion and three dollars to sponsor this event, but I think it’s counterproductive to not allow any other kind of purchase.  Case in point: the Bay has the Olympic store inside it, seeing as the Bay made all of the official clothing for this Olympics.  I had thought that I would buy myself a nice hoodie or something olympic-y even though I can’t really afford a purchase right now, just because as i mentioned earlier this is a once in a lifetime event.   The plan was use the Bay card for a small purchase of some kind.  No, no such luck.  You can’t use your bay card here in the bay during olympics, at least not for Olympic wear.  You wanna use your debit card? Sorry, only cash or Visa debit.  Nothing else.  This really irks me.  Can you imagine if you were a visitor from some far away country who for whatever reason just doesn’t carry a Visa card? You get here and find that you can’t spend any money unless you’re willing to carry cash around.  I call bullshit on that.

All in all though, that’s my only beef with the Vancouver games so far.  All the hippies whine about exclusionism and cost, but from what I see other than method of payment, there is plenty of party even for those without money to spend.  I’m one of those, and I don’t feel excluded at all.  Torch relays, party places, free stages, all of these things are open to me if I choose to attend them.  Heck the only reason I even have the hockey tickets is because I bought them a year and a half ago when I had some money and credit card space.  It’s going to be an awesome event, and I’m really looking forward to the excitement of the next couple of weeks!

One of the people running the fitness program I'm attending is a torch bearer, and let us all take a pic with it. Don't know why i never applied to be a torch bearer, slim as the odds would be to get it...i look good with that torch!

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1 comment so far

  1. The Salad Project on

    You are lucky to have been there!!


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