Amazing first week at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. Here’s some of the Highlights of my first week at 2010 Olympics…
Watching the Olympic flame Downtown… Hours before the Opening Ceremony. It was amazing to see the flame change hands as it was zig zagging through the streets of our host city on its last day (Day 106 of a 40,000 Kms).
A few hours later Wayne Gretzky will be the last torch barer, completing the journey riding in the back of a pickup, in the rain, to light the Cauldron…
Visiting the various hospitality houses:
- Holland Heineken House – The Holland is located at the Richmond OZone – (Minoru Park) and is within walking distance of the Richmon Oval, the long track speed skating venue. I had the opportunity to go there a few nights this week; I saw and met Sven when we celebrate him breaking the OR and winning a Gold Medal – Speed Skating, Men 5000m. The music and Dj are great entertainment, the beer flow freely @ $4.50 for a 8 once glass, it falls in line with other Olympic prices. Overall I would say, a great venue to enjoy an evening. Note that the House is Close to “NON Dutch Passport Holder” on days when Holland wins a Gold Medal. Expect Long line up…
- Irish House - I was at their opening night, and as much as the space is fun, I didn’t find my space here. It feels like an extension of the Doolin’s Irish Pub, a large tent venue with comfortable seating, decent sounds and average cover bands. The beer is on the expensive side <$8, the entrance fee uncalled for! Seriously… The Irish House has received many noise complaints since it is open late. Expect long line up.
- German House. Great food, tasty beers, friendly Germans and a good spot to watch a game or just hang with friends. You can buy tasty sausages and other German grilled food. Expect Long line up…
- Sochi World – If you like the Olympics and are a fan, I would strongly recommend doing the trip to the Rusky World. Science World has been converted into a demo centre for the next Winter Games in Russia. The Second floor feature the sponsors, a great place to watch hockey, and an Info Centre for the Upcoming Olympic University. Expect very long line up. A must see IMO.
- Atlantic House - Possibly one of the best place to spend an afternoon while learning about eastern Canada and enjoying tasty food, great beers,Screech (NF Rum). I hung out with friends and found the venue (Backstage Lounge on Granville Island) to be a great reflection of Atlantic Canada. Line up was not that bad on the day we visited the house.
- Switzerland House – I had the pleasure to go to their opening night and for the Canada vs Switzerland Man Hockey game. The food is tasty as you would expect; you can choose between Fondue, Sausage, cold cut plate and various other dishes. The bar is a good venue to enjoy a game. Expect a line up.
- La Maison Du Quebec - I went to La Maison Du Quebec on Quebec day and enjoyed a tall beer, some great music in a large open venue. I would say that overall this is a great location to enjoy a band, taste great bieres Quebecoise and spend a great evening. Line up varies, but they tend to move fast.
- HBC – Pin Trading Center – No Olympics would be complete without trading a few pins. Coca Cola and HBC have partnered up and there is a Pin trading centre at the downtown HBC olympic store. They have daily events, and you can find pro and amateur pin traders networking there throughout the day. A must see spot for anyone interested in Pin Trading or anyone who would like to know more about this unofficial Olympic sport.
- Molson Canadian Hockey House - Molson have been extremely generous to us and granted us access to the venue before the public opening and for a few games. Overall this is by far the best place to watch a hockey game. The fan zone passes are not cheap but if you factor in that this is a all day pass, which include food and “in and out” privilege and the bar serves more than just Molson Canadian. Although why would you want to drink anything else? No Lineup, lots of space, the entertainment is not conducted by your traditional PG 13 host Overall a must do experience for any Hockey Fan
- Club Bud – Burton Event – One of the most exclusive party of the 2010 games, the Club Bud party series will feature 5 different night co-sponsored with another outfit. This week Club Bud (Ustream channel for the red carpet) was hosting the Burton and NHL parties. I attended the Burton party. We got to share space with Karl Lewis, the USA Snowboarding team, talented snowboard artists and various Celebrities.. By Invitation only
Exploring the CODE
- CODE 1 – We attended the Opening Night and enjoyed the various instalations. See our posts on CODE 1 for more information.
- CODE 2 – Located at Emily Carr University on Vancouver Island, code two has a few instalation worth seeing. I would recommend taking the time to listen or watch all the media loops..Worth the time, no line up, and a fun thing to do while on Granville Island.
- Code 3 – Located on the lower level of the Downtown Vancouver Public Library – CODE 3 has a fun interactive air canon that shoot up airplane message with beacon light. A fun thing to do with the kids. Expect a line up but fun and creative.
- Speed Skating – Attending an event where you get to witness an Olympic Record is something memorable. I really enjoyed the Richmond Oval. A bit out of the way, but a great legacy venue for after the Olympics.
- Hockey Game – USA vs NOR – The US team won in this amazing game. We scored great seats in the first round of tickets allocation and this was a great game to check out.
Nightly Victory Ceremonies and Themed Days
- Quebec Day – Alex’s Golden Moment - Music and Quebec Talent followed by the Victory Celebration for Canada’s 1st Gold on Canadian soil in 3 Olympics.. Overall I would say that at >$30 the nightly Victory Ceremonies are a good value for the family. Sadly the scalpers are selling tickets at criminal rates..
- PEI Day – Sean White get’s the Gold – Unfortunately we arrived late for the first part entertainment. But we witness Shaun White receiving his Gold Medal. Hedley was the headliner that night.
TNMH and other Events
- Hanging at the BCMC – The Robson Square Media Centre has become a central basecamp for us over the past week; it is a great venue to meet other media outlets, reporters and celebrities. This week we got to meet Canada’s Golden Boy; Alex Bilodeau, Ex-Terminator now Governor Arnold Swartzenergger, taste wine from various regions. Hug the Stanley Cup and get great support to create content for this blog…
- TNMH – Alternative Media Group founded to serve a missing need. Photowalk to the Olympic Cauldron – We held a #TNMH photowalk from the German House to Robson Square via the Olympic Cauldron; we had a bit more than a dozen photographer come to the ad-hoc event and we where lucky to have a great sunny day for us to explore the Streets of Vancouver.
- Zip Line over Robson Square – By far the most fun I had in my first week, riding Zip Trek’s Zip Line over Robson Square was the highlight free activity of the 2010 Winter Game.
Zip Trek over Robert Square with @mariskar
Final notes; Despite the terrible rain on the opening ceremony night, we had amazing weather this week. I have never seen so many happy people people in vancouver> the streets a.re filled with helping volunteers and fans from over 90 nations.
No fun city? Not anymore, the police and security force has done a great job with crowd control in face of the massive all night street parties.
Overall it was an amazing first week at the 2010 Winter Games.
Bonus: Check out the great 3D view of the venues..