After getting back from Victoria, we noticed a significant uptick in Olympic fever. The torch relay was making its way all over Vancouver, and to us was an important part of the buildup. We went down the street to Main & 2nd to see some of the relay, and being away from the hub of the action we got to see the flame up front. The torch bearer who ran past us on this leg of the journey was none other than Lui Passaglia, legendary kicker/punter for the BC Lions. The guy played from 1976 to 2000. That’s 25 years of professional football. In Vancouver, the guy is big time.
Then we heard about the Georgian luger who died in training. That put a pall over the rest of the day.
We had no tickets to the Opening Ceremonies, but we did get to visit Duncan, Joyce and Ian out in Richmond to watch it on TV. The ceremonies were very, well, Canadian. Understated, full of schmaltz, and saved only by the native dancers. It did capture our culture pretty well I guess.
Richmond is one of the host cities, because they have the (gorgeous new) speed skating oval out there. So Duncan and his family took us down to the “O.Zone” to watch special fireworks and related Olympics opening night events. For being a secondary show, the fireworks were great. Because the Dutch specialize in speed skating, their national pavilion is in Richmond near the oval. Who else but Heineken is their corporate beer sponsor. The lineups to get into Heineken House were over an hour long so we skipped that part of the program. The downtown Vancouver pavilions, however, we intend to explore as much as possible.