Sunday, January 31, 2010

more olympic shots around town

so on saturday, after my first day of working will call at a box office downtown vancouver, i walked around the city and snapped some more shots of canadian pride on display for the arrival of the world!!!! enjoy!!!

some eye glass store. no words, really.

the outside of the hudson bay company department store downtown.

window display at HBC.

another HBC window.

and another.

some cool art downtown.

more art.

art in the streets.


artsy play with the rings.


another sign.

the official countdown clock and that huge flag again.

the outside of the art museum.

another building gets all dolled up.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

field trip!

friday, i took a FIELD TRIP!!! i went with 3 VANOC employees up to check out how things are coming along at my venue: cypress mountain!!! for those of you who haven't heard, vancouver is dealing with unseasonably warm temperatures...and that is extending up the mountain in west vancouver to cypress mountain...where olympians will be snowboarding, moguling and aerialing. it was fun to get up to my actual venue to see the work that is going on just 2 weeks before the games open!

this is looking at 2 of the runs up at cypress that aren't being used...and you can see there is a lot of brown in spaces i'm sure the games organizers were hoping for lots of white.

this is looking up at the back of the grandstand at the snowboarding venue. and this grandstand is the BIGGEST GRANDSTAND is ridiculously big. and awesome.

this is one of the many 'snow movers' that are working around the clock to get what snow there is (and what snow they can truck in) to the proper runs at both stadiums up at cypress.

our trek through the gritty, gray snow up to the grandstand....

we're getting closer...and then are faced with miles and miles (or so it seemed) of stairs. so. many. blasted. stairs.

looking from the grandstand up to the snowboard half-pipe (on the left) and the snowboard cross & parallel giant slalom course (on the right.)

and then...the helicopters started flying in bales of straw.

and they just kept coming. notice the straw at the base of the grandstand seating. they are filling the area with straw, and then they will start dumping the snow they are trucking in OVER the straw. and that, folks, is called the "NO SNOW" contingency plan.

the top of the run...with the rings on the right...and the snow machine cutting out the half-pipe on the left. making of the action. so cool.

look back up over the grandstand.

me posing with the straw. OH! and you can see the snow-making machine back up to the left. it's the gray box with the pipe out the top. sadly, it's not cold enough to USE that machine - but it sits there...hoping....

LOOK! another helicopter.

everyone surveying the runs. complete with cool safety hats and vests.


heading back down the stairs of the grandstand.

looking through the middle of the grandstand. artsy. kind of.

looking over to the other runs....again...

so i haven't told you all, but i figured it was time to introduce to you my friends, christy and anais, who came to the games with me. they will be seeing everything that you will be seeing...and we will be documenting it with them posing for pictures around the games! welcome, christy and anais!!!

me, christy and anais with the grandstand in the back.

the freestyle stadium runs. L: the aerials run. R: the moguls run.

looking at the side of the freestyle stadium. i liked the rings.

Friday, January 29, 2010

why i love canada #1

welcome to the first installment of my newest 'regular feature': why i love canada. through pictures, i'm going to show you little reasons i find to love this place. today's installment is generally for you all, but specifically for heather g & shannon w.

find the magic in this, ladies:

seriously? ALL YEAR!? GOLD MEDAL, canada.
gold medal indeed.....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

it begins....

some sights from my first night in vancouver....
thanks to darren for the brief driving tour and airport pick-up!

biggest. flag. ever.

biggest. flag. ever. again.

the hudson bay company building is decked OUT!

lots of green rings. everywhere.

i love this ad. it is directly outside the exit after you go through customs.

large banners like this all over the airport. but i'll be honest - i expected the airport to be a LOT more decked out than it was. oh well.

my excitement at reagan national airport....before i went through security. the first time. story for another day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

olympic memories

so the closer i get to leaving, the more i think back over past winter olypmics and memories i have of watching those events on various televisions throughout my life. a lot of different things come to mind...but the one thing that i think of more than anything else is the post-medal exhibition skate in salt lake city...when michelle kwan, who was hoping to finally grasp the gold in SLC but ended up with the bronze, skated a beautiful exhibition program to eva cassidy's 'fields of gold' - and left her heart on the ice. (figuratively, of course.)

here it is, in all it's youtube glory -

what is YOUR favorite winter olympic memory? COME ON....think......

Friday, January 22, 2010

just how much....

so i have claimed for a long time that i love the olympics. like.....L to the O to the V to the E them. so that makes this opportunity to actually GO to the city they are being hosted in and working at the Games such an exciting thing for me. i can't believe it's happening - and that i get to be even a small part of the whole experience.

with the start of my Olympic experience just around the corner, i started thinking recently how to adequately explain to people just how MUCH i love they understand what a huge thing this is for me. and that led me to the following list - many items of which i probably should be embarrassed about...and yet...i'm still listing them here. judge if you must....

*i have an album of 90+ national anthems from around the world;

*i have an album titled "NBC presents SUMMON THE HEROES by John Williams" featuring such songs as olympic hymn, bugler's dream and olympic fanfare, the olympic spirit...just to name a few;

*i have an album called "American Journey - Winter Olympics 2002 by John Williams" featuring more olympic-themed music;

*all of these albums are frequently played on my ipod with many of the songs residing in my 'top 50 most played' list;

*i ran a student government campaign in high school around the theme 'go for the gold';

*i have organized and executed (with great participation and success) 3 different 'corporate olympic games' at 2 different companies i have worked for in the past...complete with medals, events, flames, torches, scandals (food poisoning anyone?) and opening and closing ceremonies;

*i had a complete 'atlanta 1996' track suit made for me while i lived in seoul, korea;

*i consider one of the highlights of my tour of 'willy wonka' our stop in colorado springs and my visit to the US olympic training facility;

*i have articles of clothing in my possession to this day from the following olympics: SLC, athens, beijing, atlanta, torino, sydney and vancouver;

*i sill get riled up when i talk about or even think about zola budd vs. mary decker slaney or nancy kerrigan vs. tonya harding;

*i own more than one piece of 'candidate city' clothing from chicago's 2016 bid;

*i had sleepless nights during torino 2006 watching and cheering for curling and cross-country skiing and during beijing 2010 watching and cheering for sailing;

*i stood on the of the track and the infield of the 1988 olympic stadium in seoul, korea and got a little misty-eyed.

* * *
this list could go on and on and on. i do not provide it as a 'my love is greater than your love' argument. i only provide it to show you that finally, after almost 36 years of living and loving the olympics, i am getting a chance to see it all up-close and personal. and my excitement level is getting to a fevered-pitch.

i expect to make the ABSOLUTE most of it all!!!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

a dream come true!!!

the time has come to kick-start this blog!!! and why? because through the randomness of my life, i am leaving in 9 days to head to beautiful vancouver british columbia canada to work at the 2010 WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES!!!!!!

this is vancouver. i love it.
and those who really know me KNOW that there are few things i love more than the olympics. (diet coke and.....cheesecake are right up there....)

i'm going to be a box office supervisor at this venue: cypress mountain. this is where they are going to be doing snowboarding, aerials and moguls. so pretty much...the cool, sexy events. which is pretty much why they wanted me to be there.

this is the view from cypress mountain looking down to my home for the next 5 week: vancouver!

* * * * *
i can't wait to start this adventure...and, much like my experience of blogging my months on the road with 'willy wonka', i am going to use this blog as an outlet to tell the stories of what i experience, show the pictures of what i see, and bring the olypmic experience to all of you...since i can't take you all with me.
(how cheesy was that?)
(so cheesy.)