Coca-Cola is Corporate Olympic Sponsorship at its very best. Free Coke, free interactive games, free picture of you with the Olympic torch and the shiniest, happiest PR people ever. Although, come to think about it they did seem a bit disgruntled when I asked if I could get Pepsi instead.
Shot with 5DMKII, 35mm f/1.4. Music cred: “St. Clinton St.” Wakey!Wakey!
From tear-jerking Gold medal victories to heartbreaking 3rd place near-misses, the Olympics is jam-packed with glittering stories that leap off the newspaper page. It’s a reporter’s dream to cover the glory and the grief of the Olympic games. But I’m not one of those reporters. I revel in finding those peculiar stories, the hidden gems if you will, that catch my eye and make me chuckle.
Yesterday I set off in search of a weird and wonderful story of Olympic pride. I wasn’t more than 100m from my place, when I heard rumours of a sock puppet mascot contest being held at the CBC. Surely enough, when I walked in the doors of the CBC, I came face-to-face with over 40 googly, glued-on eyes, pompom noses, and pipe-cleaner whiskers. Some were simple, some were practical, and others were beyond the scope of my imagination.
The winner of the CBC Vancouver Welcomes the World Mascot Contest, David Julian Abhijit Xinshi by Susi Bainard, a three-eyed moose/beaver aka “Moover” was quite laid-back about his victory. He remained both strong and silent, when asked about his new-found fame.
You can see the masterful collection of sock puppets at the CBC on the corner of Hamilton and West Georgia open from 9am-6pm everyday until February 28th. Also, make sure to check out the daily “meet and greets” held in CBC plaza where you hobnob with CBC personalities and Olympians and pick up a limited edition pin.
One of the most uplifting nighttime highlights at the 2010 Olympics is Robson Square’s impressive light and laser show, Ignite the Dream. Situated right in the heart of the downtown buzz, this amazing light show captivates thousands of eager on-lookers everyday.
There are two nightly shows starting at 9:30pm and 11pm. Arrive 30 minute early to secure a decent spot and to avoid the drunken rowdies, who, in their own way add a whole new dimension to the Olympic experience.
Hockey is to Canadians as candy is to children. They crave it when they don’t have it, complain loudly when they do have it and it’s not what they want, and sky rocket to the moon when they get their favourite kind of sugar high. That is of course, a Team Canada win at the Olympics on home ice.
Yesterday after the tense victory over the Swiss, crowds leaving GM Place whooped and hollered loud enough to wake granny in North Van. The downtown streets sounded like the Battle at Helm’s Deep with someone making excellent use of their commemorative Lord of The Rings Orc Horn.
Although I’m not usually a hockey fan, don’t judge me, it’s a long story involving heartbreak and toe picks, I have been swept into this Team Canada hockey mania with the rest of Vancouver. Last night, I willingly watched the CAN-SWI game over the Men’s free program, much to my mother’s chagrin, who has remained a die hard figure skating fan years after I packed away my sequined unitards and mini gloves.
I won’t deny it, I got a little crush on King Crosby after witnessing his excellent puck control and fearless focus during the sudden death shoot-out. And although phrases like “icing”, “power play” and “off-side” are still quite new to me, I do understand “he shoots, he scores!” quite well. I think that phrase is hard-wired in Canadian brains from birth. That and overbearing politeness. Because even in the most rowdy of Canada hockey mobs, someone will inevitably say, “oh sorry eh” for stepping on your toe.
It’s been about two years since I stepped on the ice, and almost ten since I competed, but French reporter, Gaston Tartarin managed to convince me to return to the sport I love for one more inspiring performance. We hit the ice at GE Plaza in Robson Square yesterday, and I can honestly say that anyone managing to get a glimpse of Gaston’s little skin-tight metallic number, was changed forever.
Gaston discovers that skating shoes aren’t the most comfortable shoes.
Well, maybe we have a bit of practicing to do, but the passion is definitely there. 2012! Vive la France!
Aerial View of huge crowd gathering in front of BC Place to protest the 2010 Olympic games. Chanting: “We want peace!” & “No Olympics”. I was shaking holding the camera because it was so intense and unexpected.
There is now a line of police and Olympic officials stopping them from disrupting the Torch Relay, but the protesters are slowly creeping through.
Quickly ran out and took this video with my 5DMKII as the Olympic Torch Relay came down my street. It was madness, but happy madness. I have never seen so many cameras in all my life. So many 70-200mms & pro cameras! Jealous.
The Olympics haven’t even started and I’m pooped! There is so much going on, it’s hard to keep track of it all. This is why I spent most of my day surfing the internet and observing Olympic related traffic jams from my apartment.
I decided to head out into the wilds of Yaletown to catch the end of the Torch Relay and the first night of fireworks. I arrived at 8pm thinking I would be able to just sneak in and see Michael Buble light the cauldron in David Lam Park, and so did 50,000 other people.
I caught a glimpse at the Olympic Torch and so did one little kid who’s annoyed father said, “you’ve seen the flame now let’s go”.
I wasn’t even close to the LiveCity Yaletown stage, but somehow it was more fun to be amidst the animated crowd. Thousands of people, dressed in their finest Canadian apparel, waved flags and cheered as the fireworks lit up the sky.
Today, we open our city to the world. I can’t wait to see what is next.
“The fireworks were really fun!” And you can quote me. :P