Day 2 of our Olympic Games adventure

The Olympic Debut of Ski Cross


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Our second day of events started with a REALLY early morning as we had to catch the Canada Line to the Sea
Bus to the Olympic bus to Cypress Mountain. Here is a shot of the Olympic rings in the harbor taken from
the Sea Bus.


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This was our first view of the Torch, taken also from the inside of the Sea Bus. You can tell by the
amount of light that it was pretty early.


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Natalia on the Sea Bus.


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Ross and Kelli on the Sea Bus, a water taxi that crosses from downtown to North Van.


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We arrived at Cypress Mountain on a day that could have hosted the Summer Olympics. There was
not a lot of snow at Cypress, other than what was trucked and helicoptered onto the mountain for
the events. Today was the day for Men's Ski Cross.


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This is the stadium for Ski Cross and Snowboard Halfpipe as we start to get closer. It was about
a 2km walk to get to the base of the stadium from the buses.


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This is one of the regular runs on the mountain. Wow, it might as well be May.


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We were so excited to see the mascots at Ski Cross, having just missed them the night before.
We posed with Quatchi (my favourite) and Miga (Natalia's favourite).


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Photo #2 (since Quatchi was moving in the first one).


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Ross and Kelli took a photo as well, with Kelli poking Miga's belly button in this photo.


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Another photo (without the belly button poking).


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Natalia with a breakfast of champions - a hot dog and a coffee as we head up the 216 steps to our seat.


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Ross and Kelli at the bottom of the stands.


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I was really excited to get to see Ski Cross. The event organizers definitely get kudos for
still being able to hold the event. Sunny and rainy weather was not about to spoil ski cross' debut!


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One of the Swiss racers came up into the stands to say hi to his Mom. I thought that was
really nice.


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Natalia and I wore our matching sock monkey toques courtesy of her god-parents.


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There was an outpouring of Canadian pride throughout all of the Olympics. It was actually really
nice to see.


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The event started with 33 individual timed races to sort out the seeds for the round of 32 where they
all raced in groups of 4. Here you see one of the first racers jumping off the last humongous jump.


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I think Kelli took this photo of the flags alongside the stadium.


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The most improbable racer was Errol Kerr from Jamaica. There was a large Jamaican contingent actually
at the event, which was neat. You can also see Chris Delbosco, who was the highest ranked Canadian to
qualify. He would later crash in the final and miss the bronze medal.


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It turns out that my Uncle Ken and Aunty Deb were sitting right behind us for Ski Cross along with Ken's
brother Phil and wife Jill. What are the odds? I'm sure our American friends must think Canada's so small
that of 4 events, I had family sitting near us at 2 of them!


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Ross and Kelli at Ski Cross, showing off their cool mitts.


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The four of us at Ski Cross.


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Natalia in front of the band that was playing in between the qualifiers (32 of 33 qualified) and the
actual races. We had a little over 2 hours in between the two events.


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I took a photo with one of the volunteers, mostly because I was trying to see if we could sneak down
below and she busted me, so I had to find a reason that I wanted to be that close. :)


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Self portrait of Natalia and I in our seats.

Video of Ski Cross



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Canadian Davey Barr at the starting gates. It was kind of neat from the stands since we could see
the lower 5 turns and then the rest of the course was on the big screen. I'd call it augmented TV.


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Three racers coming off the last jump.


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Three racers coming off the second-to-last jump. This jump wrecked a lot of people.


Enroute to the Canada-US Men's Hockey game


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We left a little early from Ski Cross so that we could ensure to arrive with enough time for the Canada
vs US hockey game. This was the crown jewel of our tickets and we wanted to make sure we weren't late.
Natalia fell asleep on the bus heading back down to North Van.


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We made it back in record time and had no issue getting through security (even though I was super paranoid
after Paul and Allison told me that it took them 1 hour to get through security at curling earlier in the day).
This is outside gate 7 at Canada Hockey Place (formerly GM Place). You could hardly tell the Canucks
play here with all of the Olympics stuff around.


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Ross and I outside the rink. After we cleared security, they had us in a holding area until the rink
was totally emptied. We hung out here for about an hour prior to going inside for the game.


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Me and some random guy.


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Natalia made a great sign to try to get us on TV.


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So, as it turns out, I'm not the world's best face painter. Thankfully Kelli modified my work so that
it actually looked decent.


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Natalia painted me up for the game.


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This lady had awesome boots. I saw her standing in line right next to my friend Russ. So, I guess the
only event we didn't know anyone at was curling. Wow, maybe we do live in a small country...


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Ross with BC Place behind him. This is where the opening and closing ceremonies were.


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People on their way up to the rink.


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Some of the crowd behind us. You can see the Science Centre - which was built for Expo 86.


Canada v US Men's Hockey


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These were our seats. The face value on the seats was $140, but the scalpers outside the rink were
buying and selling in the multiple thousand range. That tells me that we should have rolled the
scalpers since they would have had huge wads of cash!


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Me at Canada Hockey Place.


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Ross and Kelli at the game.


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Natalia and I prior to the warm-up skate.

Video of us on the Jumbotron at the US-Canada hockey game

The video above was taken of us outside the rink just as we were coming in. The guy liked
Natalia's smile and our outfits and when he told us he needed two Americans, we said, "We have two of
those with us!" and grabbed Kelli and Ross.


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Natalia and I in our seats.


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The Americans taking their warm-up skate.


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Ross and Kelli posing with their flag.


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Ryan Malone - used to play for Pittsburgh, now with Tampa Bay.

Video of the Warm-ups

The crowd was pretty jacked, even during warm-ups.


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I got a shot of Sid during warm-ups.


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Sid and Roberto Luongo at warm-ups. It's too bad we didn't start Luongo for this game. This might
be the last game that Brodeur plays for team Canada.


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Sidney skating off the ice.


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The lines for Team Canada.


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Crosby's line although it was juggled during and after this game until he played with Iggy and Staal.


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This was the only line that remained consistent through the Games.


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Our fourth line.


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The couple in front of us were not going to let having a baby interfere with going to the game.
These are true fans. When I asked the lady what was up, she replied, "Well, I wasn't going to let
him go without me."


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Canada lost this game 5-3 with two bad goals to Brodeur, including one where he batted the puck
like a baseball and then missed an easy save. Here are the boys shaking hands afterwards.


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Dan Boyle shaking Ryan Miller's hand.


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Sid and Brodeur skating off the ice after a demoralizing loss that totally shut down the rink and the country.
Sid came so close as he brought Canada within 1 but an empty net by Kesler finished it off.


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Apparently, this guy is the American Brian Williams, or so says Ross. I like ours better!


Hanging out at the Olympics


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This is in Robson Square after we had an unreal, inexpensive dinner and drinks while watching
ladies' curling.


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Natalia with her favourite trees.


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Ross posing, although I'm not sure what event this would be. Figure skating maybe?


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Natalia and I with our Coke bottle lights and the giant Canadian flag (just visible behind us) near
Robson Square.


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Ross and Kelli in front of our house.


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Paul and Allison in front of the house. It was super sunny, so pardon my hand above the lens.


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Natalia and I in front of our sweet house.


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Close-up of us. Thanks to Ross and Kelli and to Paul and Allison for making our Olympic
trip a great success! It was way more fun with you guys in Canada. Maybe think about coming up
here permanently... :)


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Natalia and I then took a troll around the downtown core before we flew out. Here is the Olympic Cauldron.


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VANOC took a bunch of flak for the big fencing around the torch, but there were no security incidents
so good for them.


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The Cauldron. It actually looks pretty cool in the shape of a Maple Leaf.


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The Cauldron gets the Paul Perrault stamp of approval.


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I like how the font almost perfectly matched the Westjet font and colour, especially since Air Canada
was the official sponsor.


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Natalia really liked the volunteers on the high chairs with the mega-phones. "Hi there! I hope you're
having a great day!"


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Me, standing by the cauldron, with a funny brochure entitled, "How to Become an Authentic Canadian"


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We toured the city, seeing the Italian pavilion, Granville Island and the Atlantic Canada pavilion,
as well as the LiveCity Yaletown venue, which was packed for the hockey games.

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