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!

-Patrick

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

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