Monday, March 1, 2010

Some final notes...

Well we're back in California now and our Olympic adventure is over. It was capped off by an amazing gold medal curling match when Kevin Martin finally won his gold. Things were close in the beginning but Canada just made the big shots when they needed them and it seemed like Norway struggled to match them. The most memorable moments were in the 10th end when victory was all but assured the crowd broke into singing Oh Canada, and the excitement after the final shot was made. To see medals in curling being awarded was awesome.

So here are some final raves and rants:

-Big rave to the all of the Vancouver volunteers. They were friendly, helpful, enthusiastic, and took their jobs very seriously. All that work for only the ubiquitous blue jacket and hat, and a lot great memories.

-A rant at the poor planning of the Olympic merchandising. Having only one store (which always had at least a half an hour wait to get into!) to sell the licensed gear was silly.

-Another rant at the supply of Team Canada gear and the beloved red Olympic mittens. It seemed all of the cool Canada sweatshirts and jackets, and of course the mittens were all sold out the first week of the games. If they had more they would have made a fortune and still sold out but again poor planning.

-A rave to the excellent public transportation in Vancouver. Lines were often long and trains were crowded before and after events, but things moved fast and were very efficient. The Cypress Mtn. buses were especially well organized.

-Another rant at Team USA's PR during these games. I already mentioned before the fact that the USA house was off limits (unless your were an athlete or gave the USOC lots of money). Well we did find some Team USA stuff that was even more over priced than the regular Olympic gear because it was also branded by Ralph Lauren Polo. Just because it has that stupid doesn't mean people are going to be willing to pay 3x more (I think t-shirts were $70 and track jackets were $300). As a result I saw almost no one wearing Team USA stuff. I wonder if they thought Americans don't care about the Winter Olympics and won't come. Just more bad international marketing of the USA.

-A big rave to our friends Harry and Simon who graciously let us stay at their beautiful condo in downtown Vancouver. And to our friend Bryan who showed us all of the good places to drink on Davie.

-A final rave to Canada and Canadians. Although they made it very clear about who they were rooting for, they were friendly and welcoming as always. And as Michael J. Fox said during the closing ceremonies, we all became Canadian during these two and a half weeks. I think most of us brought home at least one shirt or hat with "Canada" on it.

Thanks everyone and good curling!


P.S. I'll try to post more pics after we sort through the hundreds of pics Matthew took.

Friday, February 26, 2010

More Pics!

The Olympic Cauldron

The Norwegian curling pants

Swedish skip Annette Norberg

Team USA

Team Canada looking over a shot

Finally some Pics!

Cheryl Bernard arriving at the curling club and greeting her husband.

Debbie McCormick and Us

The Chinese skip Bing-Yu Wang warming up before the semifinal matches

The whole family at ice level

John Shuster, Jason Smith, and us

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Olympic Curling at it's Best!

Just a quick post...I just got back from hanging out at the Vancouver Curling Club. This morning we watched the Women's semi-finals where Canada won an exciting match over Switzerland, then decided to check out the curling club. It was way crowded and took like 30 mins to get in but it was all worth it. First, while we were waiting downstairs for space in the bar, Debbie McCormick was milling around so we got a quick picture with her. Then, after we finally got settled in upstairs at the bar, look who shows up but the WHOLE Canadian Women's team, Cheryl Bernard and everyone! Snapped a couple of pics and Matthew got his ticket autographed by the entire team, but it was just awesome hanging out at the curling club with possible Olympic Gold Medalists!

More to come...


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Here is the second set of pictures from the previous weekend.

A scene from the SWE - FIN hockey game

Oliver Axnick (German coach), myself and Andy Kapp (German skip) at dinner after the afternoon curling game (unfortunately Germany had lost against Denmark which cost them the tie-breaker for the semis in the end)

A scene from the GER - DEN game with quite a mess in the house

Fan and RCMP outside of the curling arena

Here is the first set of my pictures from my second weekend in Vancouver. I had again a very nice time and this time also perfect weather.

Vancouver downtown is decorated with many of these eagles

The Olympic Flame after they cut a hole in the fence so that pople could take better pictures of it

Canadian curling fans at theCAN - GBR game on Saturday ( a great game)

The curling logo in the arena

Another group of Canadian fans

Monday, February 22, 2010

I forgot a couple of things...

I forgot a couple of things in my last post:

-First, one of the cool things about watching curling live is you get to see stuff that they don't show on tv. Like John Shuster and Kevin Martin having some friendly chatting at the beginning of an end, especially when it was looking like the US would lose. And seeing how perfect the ice is...I really want to throw one stone on it!

-We had an improptu SFBACC meetup when we ran into Loreen (the honorary US skip) and Bryan, and Pam and Ron. It was nice to see some familiar faces!

-If you're watching it on tv tonight, look for us with the California flag. We brought it randomly since there aren't any Californians in the tournament, but maybe we'll attract the tv camera because we are so random!