Saturday, February 13, 2010

Opening Ceremony Day

Yesterday was an absolutely magical day. it started bright and early for me as I made my way to the CBC offices at Robson and Hamilton for my first ever radio interview. It was pretty quick but they said they are interested in following up with me and my adventures in Vancouver when I return with my family on the 19th. They have also dubbed me a "superfan" which personally I have no problem with! I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am to be here this weekend, that I made the decision to come despite the extra expense because it was worth every penny and more. More on that later.

After my first ever radio interview (which I hope someone can post online for me so I can link to it. Thanks.) I made my way up Robson Street to meet Tomarra and watch the Torch Relay go by. Walking up Robson Street I was getting teary eyed, tons of people have put Canada flags in their windows, every store window has some kind of reference to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, there are signs posted that I think are different languages saying "Welcome"-I am going to take photos of as many of those as I can, and everyone and I mean everyone is wearing Canada head to toe. I saw a family of four wearing Canada jackets and it looks great when you see that approaching you.

One of the things I wasn't expecting to see were all the different team uniforms. It does make sense that some of the coaching staff or other members of the team would be checking out Vancouver but it wasn't something I had thought of. Some of the team uniforms are pretty wild and you can spot them in a second. Some of the ones I saw yesterday were Russia, Czech Republic and Holland-they had the nicest in those bright orange coats. I gave the woman one of my Canada Loot Bags and asked her to leave a comment on my blog about what she thinks of Vancouver.

Member of Team Holland walking around Robson Street.

I saw the Torch go by on Robson and then we walked around for a bit. Tomarra is from Vancouver and she could not get over the number of people in the city. I keep asking ,is it not usually like this and she keeps saying no.

The Olympic Torch Relay on Robson Street
I had to pick up my ticket for the Opening Ceremony so I waited in line to do that and chatted with people around me in line. Everyone I've met so far is from BC! Its kind of funny because they assumed that I was from BC and more likely Vancouver. They find out pretty quickly that I'm not when I give them a blank look to all the places they are describing or referring. It's also funny because when they find out I'm from Toronto, they seem kind of surprised. Can you imagine if they saw this blog? They would be shocked! I did hand out a few business cards and asked people to go to my blog and leave their comments about the Olympics. It will be nice to have a permanent record of people's thoughts on the Vancouver Olympics.

It was mid afternoon that I heard the news of the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Luge althete from Georgia. I was in a restaurant when they played the crash on TV and everyone in the restuarant was horrified to see it. I'm sure many peoples thoughts and prayes, mine included, go out to Nodar's family, his teammates and fellow althetes.

There was also an impromtu concert by Barenaked Ladies in Robson Square which of course we heard about after we left that area.  Sounds like this might happen often throughout the Olympics, non scheduled performances by some of Canada's top artists.  Hope I can catch the next one.

In the afternoon we saw the Torch Relay come by again in Yaletown. I couldn't believe how many people they were. I could barely see it because I was so far back in the crowd! I stayed back though and let the Vancouver people see their Olympic flame come through their city. I have seen it many times and some of these people were seeing it for the first time.

After that is was take a short nap, return some emails and answer one more request for an interview which I think will be happening today and then it was time to leave for the Opening Ceremony-I can't believe I'm even writing that!!!!!!!

One lesson I learned yesterday is NEVER PUT YOUR CAMERA AWAY! At least it was a lesson for me.  No sooner than you turn your camera off and put it back in your bag there is something right in front of you that you want a  picture of.  I missed quite a few things yesterday that I would have liked to have captured.  Maybe I need to realize it will be impossible to capture it all!

For photos of the day, click here.


  1. Christina...I am so happy for you to be finally living out your dream! You GO GIRL! Watching the Olympic opening ceremonies on TV last night brought tears to my eyes too. Have fun, be safe and keep on blogging!

    Being an ex-pat living in California now, I'm feeling extra proud to be a Canadian. The whole world is focused on our beautiful country for the next two weeks and I am proudly sporting my official Canada Olympic gear....even if the weather is warm! Will send you a pic soon...


  2. Hi Christina from your neighbour Jack.

    So proud of you. Keep up the good work, better coverage than CTV.


  3. My first real opportunity to see the torch live was on Feb. 12th. I met up with two friends on the north shore of False Creek, across from Granville Island. When it did arrive it was placed in a dragon boat and paddled eastward in the center of the channel. I chased it and did keep up ... barely. Boy can those paddlers go!

    One really cool scene was when the dragon boat torch bearer passed it over to a torch bearer in a Voyager canoe. I captured a pretty good shot of that!

    My friend, Geoff, eventually linked up with me again and we followed it as it snaked its way through Yaletown and then downtown.

    What's most amazing to me is how this simple act of carrying fire through the city, completely made all Vancouverites lose any of their pretensions & facades. I can't explain why it was so emotional to see it, but indeed it was!

  4. Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. It is so helpful to know you are enjoying all this with me. I do it for you!
    Jack, that is my best compliment so far.
    Thank you all so much.

    Christina Wallaert