It's official, Vancouver is buzzing with excitement!
This morning I was downtown with the Students Live Crew; our day started in the BCELC offices where we exchanged phone numbers, finalized ticket draws and received our official Cultural Olympiad passes! That entitles us to free transportation until the end of March, which will be very handy, as I plan on using public transit as much as possible throughout the next hectic few months.
Later on, we walked from the Harbour Centre to Robson Square where we were getting a tour of the Robson Media Centre. Although the tour was extremely cool, and I am overly excited about having access to the Media Centre, perhaps the walk there was even more exciting. There is just so much excitement and energy in the air; and everyone is wearing their Olympic Mittens and their Team Canada wear. At one corner of the walk, there was a man handing out anti-Olympic flyers, and I hardly saw anyone taking any, but right next to him were some VANOC officials handing out some sort of pamphlet, and those were going like crazy. Another thing we saw was a group of people wearing signs and yelling out "Free Hugs", although I thought it was a little bizarre, it also was nice to see the love. People often say that Vancouver is a very friendly city with people always laughing and smiling, and I guess these people were just adding to the reputation. There were also more street performers than I have ever seen in my life, from freestyle rappers, to violinists, to magicians, there was a show on ever corner of the street. To top it all off, we just happened to run into the Czech Republic Olympic team. It was kind of funny, they were walking along Robson with their cameras taking pictures of the City when everyone started crowding them for pictures. My highlight was when a mother was taking a picture of her kids with the athletes and she asked what sport they competed in, they replied "luge" and then this little girl, probably only 4 years old, said "I LOVE LUGE!" she sounded so excited, and had the biggest smile on her face I have ever seen, and I'm not even sure if she knew what luge was. It was the cutest thing.
I always love walking down the street and seeing all the Mascots in the windows of the store's. but today I didn't even notice that, there was too much live excitement going on. And of course with all this excitement comes the protesters, I saw a few of them too, but no one seemed to be paying any attention to them.
Moral of the story: Try to spend as much time as you can downtown during the games. They haven't even started yet, and it's already crazy, I can't even imagine what it'll be like when they get underway! While you're down there, don't forget to check out the Robson Square ice rink, it is tons of fun, and the ZipTreck over Robson Square opens on February 12th, which is going to be amazing!
The Aussies are happy campers! VANOC origianally said that the Australians must take down the flag they hug up at the Olympic Village, which was kangaroo with boxing gloves that represents their "fighting spirits". VANOC said it was too commercial and must be taken down, but today the flag was approved, and it will be hung high for the rest of the games. I personally think the flag is doing no harm, and I couldn't understand what the fuss was about.
Lastly, today was an exciting day for the torch relay; the Olympic Torch has officially entered the Lower mainland! It is now only 5 days until Clara Hughes will be carrying the Canadian Flag, and the Olympic Cauldron will be lit!