Friday, February 19, 2010

Better Viewing Area for Cauldron


Earlier this week on February 15th, I posted an article about the lack of access to see the cauldron for the public. Now, the area where you can see the torch from is much better. Before, there was a wire fence that was straight and still quite a ways from the cauldron. The response to all the criticism was to put an indent in the fence area, putting people about 15 metres closer to the cauldron. The also have a strip of the fence cut out to take photos without the fence in the way. The view is spectacular because behind the cauldron is the water, and after that there are mountains. If that isn’t for you there is an even better option if you do not mind waiting in line for half an hour.

The line leads up to a large balcony that puts you at the height of the flames at the top of the cauldron. It also puts you closer, maybe half the distance from the fenced area. Unfortunately from this angle the backdrop is not mountains but the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Czech vs. Lativa Hockey Game


Earlier this evening, the Czech Republic defeated Latvia in men’s hockey 5-2 at Canada Hockey Place. There were still quite a bit of supporters from both countries but the majority of people were Canadians. The Czech had some well-known NHL players such as Patrik Elias and Jaromir Jagr while the Latvians had no famous players that I recognized.

As suspected, the Czech got off to a hot start, scoring 3 goals in the first ten minutes of the opening period. The Czech’s scoring slowed down but the play was still dominated by them. The best part about the hockey game was the comradery of the Canadian fans.

At some points in the game, all the fans got up and started to cheer “LATVIA!” for half a minute at a time. The feeling was electric. The Latvians managed to score and the game was way less lopsided than it was before.

Did the Canadian fans have an impact on the game because they chose to cheer for the struggling Latvians rather than the Czech? I think they did. As soon as everyone realized that Lativa was going to get dominated people started rooting for Lativa. At the start of the game it was looking like the game was going to end at 20-0. The Lativans were getting outplayed that badly.

The hot start the Czech got off to ended and after the first part of the first period, the Lativans scored the same number of times as the Czech. After seeing the hockey game, I think playing at home will really help the Canadian teams in the tougher games they face.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

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Robson Media Centre Update

This place is buzzing! In the room I am in right now, a Media Work Room, there are over 15 people doing things like me! They are updating their blogs, writing stories, podcasting, uploading their photos and more. If you want, you can go to the Coca Cola desk and get your picture taken with torches from previous Olympics. The torches include the Bejing Games (2008), the Torino Games (2006), and the Salt Lake City Games (2002). Also, they give out free tokens for the Coke machines in the centre. I just saw Rick Hansen and talked to him which was very cool.

Here are some photos from today:



Kid Reporter at the Olympic Games!


I am currently in the Robson Media Centre or as it is also called, the International Media Centre. I was just talking to Brennan LaBrie, a ten-year-old kid from Port Townsend, Washington, USA. He is thought to be the youngest reporter at the Olympic Games. He is staying here until atleast Tuesday and is hoping to attend some events. He got to interview the American short track speed skater, Apollo Ohno. You can follow him on twitter: @KidReporter, or at his blog: http://brennanlabrie.blogspot.com/. It is great how students from other countries are getting involved in the Games.


I am currently in the Robson Media Centre. I was just at a press conference for the Canadian athlete whom won a silver medal in woman’s short track speed skating in the 500-metre. Her name is Marianne St-Gelais, a French-Canadian from St. FĂ©licien, Quebec. She speaks fluently in French but has some troubles with English. It was on her 20th birthday that she won her medal. Congratulations Marianne!

I am currently in the Robson Media Centre, underneath Robson Square (photo) in Vancouver. Robson Square itself is a fantastic place, there are even things to do above and below it! During the Olympic Games, you can go and skate on the ice rink below Robson Square, take a ride on the zipline overhead Robson Square. If those are not for you, there are always musicians performing on the two stages right beside the ice rink.

The Vancouver Art Gallery (photo) is just north of the rink and is a good place to get away from the excitement and the noise. Also, the UBC bookstore is open. For all of these events except a long wait, especially for the zipline. You might wait up to 6 hours to get a ride!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


The men’s figure skating short program was on February 16th 2010 in the Pacific Coliseum. There were thirty skaters, but the interesting thing was the range of their scores. As a person whom doesn’t know a lot about figure skating, I found it surprising how the scores could be so different. The men’s downhill or speed skating, the results are decided by the smallest fractions of seconds. Meanwhile, the top score in figure skating was ninety-nine point something while the bottom score was forty-four point something. From my perspective, it doesn’t make a lot of sense because if you think about it with logic, the top skater was twice as good as the bottom skater. This could or could not be true because it is impossible to say if a person is twice as good as someone else at something. To me, it seems a bit much. That’s my take. What’s yours?

Vancouver Olympic Centre


The Curling on February 16th was great. The Canadian team won in extra ends with a draw to the button to beat Norway 7-6. But what I found most interesting was the transformation of the stadium from before the Olympic Games compared to now. First of all, the grounds out side the building are all dressed up in fancy Vancouver 2010 covers and the original entrance is changed to a different location. The surrounding streets around the venue are blocked off to traffic. When I got into my seat, “Oh my, a seat!” Before, it was only metal benches that uncomfortable to sit on and were cold. Hopefully the seats stay for good.

On a site note, the amount of people using public transport was amazing. The wait to get on the Canada Line skytrain after the curling was about 30 minutes.

Monday, February 15, 2010


The Olympic Torch reached its resting place in downtown Vancouver during the evening of the 12th of February 2010. The torch was brought there by the final torchbearer, Wayne Gretzky, the world famous hockey player. It is now lit on a massive cauldron. Unfortunately for the public, the closest they can get to the cauldron is about 15 seconds walking distance. Furthermore, They can only see it from a section of fence that is about 5 meters long and 2-3 meters high. During the daytime, it is almost impossible to get a photo because of the thousands of people gathered to see the torch. At nighttime, around 9:30pm, it becomes possible to take decent photos and even get a picture with yourself and the torch. At this hour, there are fewer people than earlier in the day.

Friday, February 12, 2010

This morning, a luge olympian from Georgia was on the track and crashed. Nodar Kumaritashvili, age 21, was speeding along the track at over 130 kilometers per hour. At the final turn before the end of the track, Kumaritashvili lost control and flew off of his board and came out of the track, crashing straight into a steel pole. Unfortunately, Kumaritashvili lost his life. If you want to see a video of the crash, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uuc3G2tzsec&feature=player_embedded. The video contains graphic material.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Minor Hockey Loses Ice Time During Olympic Games

Minor hockey teams in the Vancouver area will have to take a break during the Olympic Games. Minor hockey players can be from around the age of five to eighteen. Just like the National Hockey League, players will have to take a break from their sport but for a different reason. NHL players will take a break because some players will be competing as hockey players for their home country. Meanwhile, minor hockey players will take a break during the Games because their ice time will be given to different Olympic teams. These teams could be for hockey, figure skating, or any other ice Olympic sports. The minor hockey season is shorter than the NHL, so the playoffs have started already and will finish in March.Minor hockey teams in the Vancouver area will have to take a break during the Olympic Games. Minor hockey players can be from around the age of five to eighteen. Just like the National Hockey League, players will have to take a break from their sport but for a different reason. NHL players will take a break because some players will be competing as hockey players for their home country. Meanwhile, minor hockey players will take a break during the Games because their ice time will be given to different Olympic teams. These teams could be for hockey, figure skating, or any other ice Olympic sports. The minor hockey season is shorter than the NHL, so the playoffs have started already and will finish in March.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Main Press Centre/Centre principal

video Here is a slideshow tour of the Main Press Centre for the Vancouver Olympic Games. It is located in downtown Vancouver and is normally known as Canada Place. It is the Press Centre that I said was about 100 meters from the new Convention Center.
video Here is the movie I promised earlier. It showcases the new Convention Centre in downtown Vancouver. The major media centre for the Olympic Games is about 100 meters from the Convention Center.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Press Centre for Olympic Games

Just got back from the Press Centre for the Olympic Games! I was fortunate enough to have a tour of the press centre and will post photos soon - I hope!