Thursday, February 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Olympic Edition

This post is quite picture-heavy, so I apologize if it takes awhile to load.

Does that even still happen? I don't know, I still use the same laptop I bought when I started grad school in '05, so everything loads about as fast as Hal Gill skates.

This time, four years ago, I was on the way to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics with one of my best friends, and met up with two Canadian friends once we landed. That trip seems like it happened yesterday. How did four years go by so quickly?!

I know just how incredibly lucky I am to have had the opportunity to attend the Olympics; sometimes I still can't believe it. I think being in Vancouver took my already intense patriotism to extreme levels. Anytime my American friend and I saw someone wearing Team USA gear, we yelled "GO USA!" at them/in their faces. Sometimes we got a patriotic response, but others we just got confused looks. I'm pretty sure we looked like we had just gotten out of an asylum. Whoopsie, patriotism makes me a bit nutty.

While we were there, we took in women's hockey and men's hockey, and it was so awesome.

First up was women's hockey at UBC Thunderbird Arena. We saw Slovakia vs. China, which I thought was pretty neat since China is not the first...or even the 15th country you think of when you talk about international hockey.

China won 3-1. The handshakes after international play (and the conclusion of every NHL playoff series) is one of my favorite tradition in sports. It has to suck being the losing team as you're going through the handshake line, though. Although, I'd probably want to punch a few people/everyone, so I don't know how well that would work out for me. If you haven't noticed yet, I get pretty riled up about sports.

There was a pumped up Team China fan there, so, we obviously had to get a picture with him. I mean, when in Rome China, Vancouver, right?

The men's game we attended at GM Place (renamed Canada Hockey Place for the Olympics, now Rogers Arena) featured No. 8 seed Switzerland vs. No. 9 Belarus. Since we had qualifying round tickets, we weren't sure who we would be seeing until the round robin had ended. On paper, this sounds like a really boring game, but it wasn't at all. I can't even begin to put into words what the atmosphere was like, and my pictures certainly won't do it justice. Despite the crowd being mostly Canadian, the teams were being cheered on as if they were playing a home game. It was really cool.

From our seats, we could see the TSN guys. FYI: Darren Pang uses a booster seat. Not even kidding.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were also there, being all adorable, showing of their Ice Dancing gold medals. There was no outcry of the results being fixed or coach favoritism at these Games.

For Belarus, we saw Sergei Kostitsyn and the late Ruslan Salei in action. For Switzerland, Jonas Hiller, Luca Sbisa, and Roman "Swiss Miss" Wick.

Switzerland won in a shootout 3-2. Despite the game not being a marquee match-up, it was a lot of fun. GM Place Rogers Arena is a great venue, too. The sight lines were awesome, it has nice concourses, and everything was laid out in a way that made sense. It was also easy to get Olympic souvenirs there, which I appreciated. Since I didn't see NHL hockey there, I don't count it as one of the 13 arenas I've been to so far, so I most definitely want/need to go back.

Vancouver is an absolutely gorgeous city, and you should most definitely visit if you ever have the chance. To save a few dollars, we flew into Seattle and took a bus to Vancouver. It was super easy, and I highly recommend it.

We did not go to the gold medal game, but I have a story to tell you about that, which should make it even clearer why I'd rather set myself on fire than cheer for Team Canada in hockey.

Team USA and Canada meet tomorrow, and I"m already wondering where I can get a sedative. I considered day drinking, but, 1) I'll be working tomorrow; 2) my drink of choice is usually Crown and ginger ale, which won't work, because that's Canadian, and I refuse. I don't think wine or beer would be strong enough, and I can't go back to work tequila drunk, so, I'll have to figure something else out to calm my nerves.


1 comment:

  1. I WILL be taking over the TV in our breakroom at lunch. I'll only get to watch the 3rd period, but I WILL be watching and cheering on the USA!