Bricklin: Some Olympic outtakes
The U.S.-Canada gold-medal hockey game and closing ceremonies are today’s big events in stadiums across the street from one another. Alas, after 16 very full days and nights, I will be driving south and east from Vancouver right around lunch time, hoping not to experience another dramatic border crossing.And even though it’s been 16 days since I’ve eaten a vegetable, I wish I didn’t have to leave.The anticipation and excitement of the opening ceremonies was exhilarating. Before the games could find their footing, the relative bedlam and freezing rain at the momens moguls final at Cypress Mountain the first weekend left an indelible impression. Bode and Lindsey winning Gold. Canada’s first gold medal won on Canadian soil, Team USA stealing Canada’s “Own the Podium” campaign, the omnipresence of curling, attending press conferences and getting to meet Olympic athletes.Name-dropping time; Bryon Wilson, Chad Hedrick, Shani Davis, Bode Miller, Lindsey Vonn, Apolo Anton Ohno, Kelly Clark, Hannah Teter, Torah Bright, Shaun White, Angela Ruggiero, Bill Demong and Scott Lago.But despite all those official-sounding moments, what I liked the best were all those chance encounters with other folks visiting – and sometimes competing – at the games. Let’s face it, I’m a people person.• I knew I had a small window of opportunity to get a pretty cool autograph if I timed things just right so I sought out a Sharpie. A nice lady at the ‘Visit Canada’ desk inside the Press Center dug one out of a drawer, I promised to return it within the hour. About 45 minutes later, I returned the marker and told Danielle the Sharpie had worked just perfectly and showed her last weeks Sports Illustrated featuring Apolo Anton Ohno on the cover with his signature. She held the Sharpie into the air as if it were a holy object and said, “Are you telling me Apolo Ohno held this pen”, it was really pretty funny. I think that Sharpie may end up on display in a prominent spot in her home. If so, there’ll probably be a three-hour ‘line up’ in her neighborhood for folks to come and see it.• The Pook Toque, a versatile and hilarious fleece beanie, made in Canada out of socks (but not really). You can fold it into at least 20 different styles of cap. Check out the video of Joe Barbosa demonstrating this unique headwear on vaildaily.com, it’s worth the trouble of finding it on-line.• Being at Canada Hockey Place when the Canadian women won the gold medal on home ice was exciting even though I was disappointed with that result. The cool gold Coke can I was handed after the game inscribed with a salute to the Canadian team is a unique keepsake.• Best souvenir: The Olympic press credential which, in two languages, proclaims me to be – a journalist/journaliste.• I finally traded some pins and it was more fun than I expected. George Oliphant is the MTV guy who was based at the top of the Gondola on Vail Mountain a few seasons back, now he is on NBC, he was on the “Today Show” on Friday morning talking about the ten ‘must haves’ leaving Vancouver. Anyway, George gave me a couple of much desired NBC pins so I had ‘pin currency’ to trade. I was able to parlay those pins into a Chinese TV media pin, a Ukraine TV pin and a Belarus athlete pin. I can go into great detail about which pins are hot and why and how it changes by geography within Vancouver and Whistler but it would take up too much space.• Rain set the tone the first few days but when the sun shined on Day 5 and record-setting warm temperatures set in for the next week, the games were transformed. The magnificence of Vancouver and Whistler was revealed and the people filled the streets in unprecedented numbers, surpassing 150,000 every night – proving to be the game changer and defining moment in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. An enormous wave of red and white everywhere; hockey jerseys, painted faces, toques (hats), scarves, ponchos, flags, boots and most famously, mittens will be• The psyche and mood of Canadians has seen a seismic shift from incredible anticipation to terrible disappointment and resignation to a euphoric confidence and pride in a job well done. Team Canada has been an impressive host nation and as America’s closest neighbor, it sure has made for a gracious and accommodating one for Team USA and its record-setting Winter Olympics medal haul.• In four years time, the Winter Olympics will reconvene for the 22nd time in a Russian town of about 400,000 people called Sochi. I toured the Sochi World Exhibit today and they have big plans to make their games an intimate affair. The alpine, cross country and sliding events will be held at a brand spanking new ski area being built now. It will be located a 40-minute train ride away from town. All of the Olympic stadiums are being built in a circle, all next to each other and just a stones (not curling) throw from the Main Media Center. All of the Olympic venues will be newly built but Sochi’s location on the Black Sea looks to be spectacular. Vancouver 2010 will be a very hard act to follow, but I sure hope I can find a way to make it to Sochi.It’s just too bad I have to go back to my office. Because I could run around these games forever.The Vail Daily’s marketing guy, Mark Bricklin will be covering elements of the 2010 Winter Games from Vancouver & Whistler – a very non-sports perspective focusing on buzz, sponsors, swag, the crowds, the zany and the marketing. Want him to check something out while he’s there? Let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User