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Vancouver 2010 Day Three in Photos

February 15th, 2010 @ 8:18am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

For Day Three of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games we took a water taxi over the Granville Island and spent the morning and afternoon with friends.

Day Three, February 14, 2010

My first item of business was judging a chocolate recipe contest at the House of Switzerland. Chefs from Kelowna, Vancouver, and Montreal has submitted their creations which were replicated for the judging process. All were divine but we ended up crowning the crispy pecan chocolate bars.

After the chocolate we headed to Atlantic Canada House, which is also on Granville Island.

There were throngs of people everywhere and lineups to get into every pavilion. Luckily, it was a gorgeous day the waiting was mostly painless for many. Inside the Atlantic Canada House we met up with a few friends and created some content – from photos to live streaming video coverage.

We stuck around until Kristina Groves won the bronze medal in speed skating and went out for dinner. While enjoying our meal Alexandre Bilodeau won Canada’s first gold medal on home soil. The cheers and celebrations sounded throughout the community as history was made.

Hopping back on the water taxi and walking home, the City was still alive and simply buzzing. I had a fantastic time with friends and especially my dear husband on Valentine’s Day, it was just perfect. This is only Day Three and so much has happened already, I can’t wait to see how the rest of these electrifying weeks will unfold.

Medal Count for Canada – February 13, 2010
Gold: 1
Silver: 1
Bronze: 1

Vancouver 2010 Spectator Tips

February 14th, 2010 @ 10:10am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

A few days into the Olympics and I’ve come to realize what you need when you are getting around town to multiple events. Yesterday I put together a list while I was sitting inside Canada Hockey Place, after waiting 45 minutes to get through their security. Here are my top things to remember when you’re an Olympic spectator.

2010 Olympics - Vancouver's Robson Square
Photo credit: to be, inspired on Flickr

Wear comfortable shoes
Without cars and with transit re-routed due to street closures, walking is your best option around this city. I walk from the West End to the BCIMC at Robson Square, to Olympic venues and hospitality houses. Warm socks and running shoes have prevented my feet from being rubbed down to a nub. Wear shoes with support and some that can get wet as these are being dubbed “The Rain Games”.

Carry as little as possible
Heading through security at the Olympic venue yesterday there were families with backpacks full of picnic food that of course, they weren’t allowed to bring in. Some tossed items away while I saw at least half a dozen people polishing off apples near the security tent before being let through. Your bags will be searched, your pockets will be emptied. Try to carry as little as possible and only the essentials if you’re going to any live celebration site or venue with security.

Carry transit fare
I have been walking everywhere but the SkyTrain and Canada Lines have been saviors in hurried times. They’re probably your best bet for distance travel right now so be sure to carry at least $2.50 to board. If you have an Olympic ticket for an event, you may ride transit for free on the day of your event.

Show your colours
Whether you support Team Ukraine or Team Canada, wear your nation’s colours on your sleeve – literally. You can hit up the official Olympic Superstore at HBC or visit Roots & Lululemon for unofficial and international merchandise. One thing I must note though is that my husband’s been getting sour looks for wearing Team USA gear. We’re very welcoming of every nation yet his Team USA gear always brings attitude out in people (moreso locals). Lets make sure to have the right attitude as we are welcoming the world, even our brothers to the South.

Cowbells
Get a cowbell. Ring it. Go Canada. Repeat.

Thank the blue jacket volunteers
Thousands of those blue jacket Olympic volunteers are out there showing you the way, getting you into your event, and wrangling the massive crowds to make sure everyone’s on the right track. They’re kind, they’re local, they’re not being paid but they’re here to help. If you get the chance, thank a blue jacket volunteer today.

Leave lots of time
Since there are crowds of thousands meandering through the streets of Vancouver make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go. Allow at least an extra hour in travel time whatever your destination may be.

Those are just a few of my tips for spectators and Olympic visitors in Vancouver right now. If you have any of your own, please feel free to leave them in the comment section.

Vancouver 2010 Day Two in Photos

February 14th, 2010 @ 9:55am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

My daily series of Olympic recaps continues as I share my personal experiences through photos.

Day Two, February 13, 2010

Lining up for security to enter Canada Hockey PlaceProbably the biggest highlight of the day for me was watching women’s hockey at Canada Hockey Place.

The Canadian team skated over Slovakia 18-0 (shots on goal 67-9) but the Slovkian team still raised their sticks and saluted the audience when the match was over. It was a very respectful and joyous moment, even though they were defeated.

I can’t publish photos from inside the venue on my site but John has an amazing capture on Flickr. It kind of goes against my “in photos” daily feature but if you click through you’ll see John’s great shots – I just don’t want to risk posting them here.

After the game we headed to the Kingston Pub to watch Jennifer Heil win the silver medal in moguls.


Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

Many people are wanting to check out hospitality houses right now and while they are peeks into the culture of other countries and provinces, our regular bars, restaurants and pubs are still all open for business.


Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

Finally, walking home we caught the Decentralized Dance Party going down Granville.


Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

While my Day Two at the Olympics didn’t contain much, it was full of substance. Here’s looking to Day Three where ice hockey, moguls, luge, pairs figure skating and other events take the stage. I’ll be heading over to the House of Switzerland Canada to judge a chocolate competition and all are welcome to stop by. There are also Chinese New Year celebrations around town so once again, Vancouver will be hopping.

Medal Count for Canada – February 13, 2010
Gold: 0
Silver: 1
Bronze: 0

Vancouver 2010 Decentralized Dance Party

February 13th, 2010 @ 10:08pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This evening an organized roaming dance party planned by the folks at the Decentralized Dance Party service took to the streets in jubilant celebration of Canada.


Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

This organized flash mob dance party started at 6:00pm at the Roundhouse in Yaletown and will roam around Vancouver with boom-boxes and Canadian flags until the wee hours of the morning. Participants either got the online invite ahead of time or joined in anytime along the way. If you do want to mix into the parade organizers ask that you wear red and white, although we did spot a few bare-chested men with red paint on their torsos. They also encourage hockey sticks, pucks, flags, and other Canadian accessories.


Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

The decentralized dance party crew were commissioned by the Made in Vancouver Festival to spread some cheer throughout the city. They seem to spring into bouts of “Go Canada Go” every couple of minutes and you might even catch the anthem as well. When we caught up with them they were crossing Granville and Robson, heading North, and as far as I know they’re still going strong. Despite the rain, it was indeed a pretty funky and energetic dance party.


Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

The website says they’ll be doing more of these events in the future but I won’t be announcing them here — one of the best things about a fun-spirited flash mob is the element of joyful surprise.

This day started out with the crackling of broken glass and it’s ending with a peaceful, musical celebration. This seems pretty fitting as Canada got its first medal today as moguls skier Jennifer Heil took home silver. Go Canada Go indeed.

Vancouver 2010 Day One in Photos

February 13th, 2010 @ 3:30pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

For the last few years I have been profiling the events and highlights of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. Now that they’re here, I’m out and about every day either going to Olympic events, hanging out at hospitality houses, or creating content with friends. I have decided to do a daily photo recap of what I have been up to so that you can get a glimpse of the Games from my eyes.

Day One, February 12, 2010

John and I were up at 5:30 to get into position for the Olympic Torch Relay as it made its way through downtown Vancouver.


Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

I didn’t make it to this part of the Torch Relay but I thought this was a neat photo as the flame went by canoe and dragon boat across False Creek.

I sat in on the Pacific Coast Collaborative press conference featuring Governor Christine Gregoire (Washington), Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (California), Premier Gordon Campbell (BC), Secretary of State Kate Brown (Oregon).

Arnold

There I met the legendary Nardwuar and he had a copy of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s vinyl album, Total Body Workout.


Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

We then headed to Molson Canadian Hockey House to watch the Olympics Opening Ceremony. A full video replay of which is available on the CTV website.

John and Me at Hockey House

Odds came on stage once the show was over and they pulled up Keith Scott (guitar) and Ed Robertson (of Barenaked Ladies). Following Odds, This Hour has 22 Minutes’ Shaun Majumder came out to do some comedy.

Ed Robertson with Odds Shaun Majumder

We waited until about 11:00pm for the super secret guest when Bryan Adams hopped on stage for a full set at the Hockey House.

Bryan Adams at Molson Canadian Hockey House

Bryan Adams at Molson Canadian Hockey House

Adams had performed at the Opening Ceremony earlier in the evening with Nelly Furtado. Walking home we spotted the flame as it sits in the cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza adjacent to the new Vancouver Convention Centre in Coal Harbour.

The Permanent Vancouver 2010 Olympic Cauldron Burning Brightly in Jack Poole Plaza at the Vancouver Convention Centre
Photo credit: Susan Gittins on Flickr

I must also add that Day One was shrouded in sorrow as the Olympic family lost Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia. I think that the Opening Ceremony respected this very well with mentions from the IOC President, a minute of silence, and flags at half-mast. I think VANOC’s CEO John Furlong said it best to the athletes, “”May you carry (Nodar’s) Olympic dream on your shoulders and compete with his spirit in your hearts.”

Medal Count for Canada – February 12, 2010
Gold: 0
Silver: 0
Bronze: 0

Vancouver 2010 Protests on Day Two

February 13th, 2010 @ 11:39am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Unfortunately Day Two of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games got rung in with the sound of smashing glass at the HBC store downtown. From what I hear, 100-200 protesters moved from Georgia Street, down to Denman, looped up Robson Street and are currently being penned in by police on Robson Street between Broughton and Jervis.

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

Yesterday the Olympic Torch Relay was re-routed due to protesters in the downtown Eastside but it was a peaceful protest. Today it seems like a different group of people with anarchy signs, masks, hoods, and actions such as knocking over newspaper boxes, spray painting cars & mailboxes, and smashing windows.

John went down to take some photos and Duane even saw a woman pushing a stroller moving with the group who knocked over a box in one fell swoop.

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

On the other hand, our pal Kris Krug is reporting on Twitter that he was caught in crossfire and got hit by a police riot shield. He was taking photos of the event and was told (with the shove of a riot shield) to move back. He did, said he was press, then was shoved with the shield again. Kris told me the Legal Observers got it on video and he will be launching a formal complaint.

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

John also said that people along the way were trying to help by putting the mailboxes back upright after they were knocked down. He said the police told the helpful citizens to leave the boxes alone as they may just get knocked over again. Store owners, shop keepers, and residents along Robson came out to see what was going on. All looked very concerned and frankly I was hesitant about John and Duane heading down there.

Vancouver 2010: Robson Street Protesters

As the crowd becomes dispersed by police on Robson Street now the core group of about 20-30 protesters now are engaging in peaceful actions — banging drums, dancing around, and making their statement known – if the message hasn’t being diluted by actions earlier. Things seem to be calming down but there is still plenty of tension. I still hear shouting, whistles, sirens and helicopters overhead.

You can view more images in John’s Flickr set. I’ll post updates as they come through…

Update @ 11:56am February 13, 2010 Things seem to have calmed down as the sound of the helicopter above moves further away from my neighbourhood. I had family coming downtown today who have now change their plans because of this.

Update @ 12:04pm February 13, 2010 It’s being reported that there were two groups; the protesters bringing awareness to native land use and poverty in Vancouver, and then those with the masks and anarchist flags. CTV News Net is still carrying live coverage.

Update @ 12:15pm February 13, 2010 I will be turning off the comments on this post as this is simply to document what happened this morning, as we saw it and heard about it on the news. I am responsible for all statements made on this website, which includes the comments section so I’ll just keep this as a reference piece. Thank you for understanding the sensitivity of this subject matter.

Update @ 12:44pm February 12, 2010 Our friend John Biehler was also down on Robson Street, here are some images from his Flickr set:

Update @ 1:11pm February 13, 2010 My husband John took some video following the protesters up Robson Street:

Update @ 1:17pm February 13, 2010 The website ShotinVancouver.com has some amazing photos from the protest action this morning including a newspaper box being thrown into the window of the TD Tower downtown. They also have an image of someone stomping out the headlight of a Swiss Olympic vehicle.

Update @ 2:26pm February 13, 2010 The Georgia Straight says the event was billed as “2010 Heart Attack”.

Vancouver 2010 BC Canada Pavilion at the VAG

February 13th, 2010 @ 9:58am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Outside the public can enjoy skating, concerts, and the zipline for free as a part of the BC You Gotta Be Here campaign. However inside the Vancouver Art Gallery you can enjoy all that the official British Columbia Canada Pavilion has to offer.

Heading down the Olympic Zipline

Throughout the Games, admission to the Vancouver Art Gallery will be free and you can head up to the fourth floor to check out the BC showcase.

Explore Da Vinci’s work and even Emily Carr’s at no charge at all, which is a real treat. Other exhibits inside include:

  • Visions of British Columbia: A Landscape Manual (January 23 to April 18, 2010)
  • Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man (February 6 to May 2, 2010)
  • Visceral Bodies (February 6 to May 16, 2010)
  • Michael Lin: A Modest Veil (January 15 to May 2, 2010)
  • CUE: Artists’ Videos (January 23 to March 21, 2010)
  • A 4D theatre experience
  • Other exhibits highlight new media, sustainability, tourism and cultural diversity
  • BC Pavilion

    Back outside at Robson Square they also have a massive projection of Games coverage (50′ x 70′) along with daily performances and pyrotechnics. The area has just been hopping lately, turning into a major hub for spectators, participants and revelers so far. This is pretty much my top pick for free things to do during the Olympics with so much going on and so many people coming together.

    Free daily events outside:

  • Meet the Mascots on Ice: Daily at 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 6:00pm
  • Ignite the Dream: Evening light show with pyrotechnics, lasers and projected images nightly at 9:30pm and 11:00pm
  • First Nations Carving Exhibit: At the front of the VAG near Georgia, daily from noon until 8:00pm
  • A full listing of events can be found online. If you can’t make it down, check out their webcams, which are showing some great live video of Robson Square. On February 14th they will celebrate “BC Day” at the pavilion.

    Price: Free
    Hours: Open to the public from 10:00am until 5:00pm
    Read more: Vancouver 2010 Pavilions and Hospitality Houses and all posts in my tag: pavilions.

    Vancouver 2010 Short Track Speedskating Ticket Giveaway

    February 12th, 2010 @ 4:00pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    After the success of my first two contests (one which is still ongoing) BC Hydro has asked me to make another contest announcement this afternoon. They have two tickets for the Women’s 500m qualifier short track speed skating happening tomorrow that they want to give away over Twitter.

    Outdoor Ice Oval - Prince George Blizzard

    Contest:
    For this one BC Hydro Power Smart would like to boost up their Twitter presence. To enter to win these tickets follow them on Twitter @PowerSmartBC in an attempt to be their 400th follower. The only way to enter the contest is by doing this so they’ll keep track then notify the 400th person. This will run until they reach their goal (or at least until tomorrow morning) and the winner will be notified tomorrow morning by the Power Smart folk.

    Rules and regulations:
    Winner must be able to pick up their tickets from the BC Hydro Power Smart Village at 333 Dunsmuir Street. The winner will need to bring a copy of the email I will send saying they have won and will need government ID to prove their identity. Tickets are for tomorrow’s event starting at 5:00pm over at the Pacific Coliseum.

    Update: BC Hydro Power Smart has reported that @KevinWalton is the winner, congratulations!