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10 days 17.5 hours to go – KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!

February 2, 2010

Know before you go – It is a phrase you should remember before you leave your house during the Games.  Going to Vancouver 2010 events, sports or otherwise, will not be like going to a Canucks, Lions or Whitecaps game.  There will be security and it will be like going through an airport.  I went down to the Pacific Coliseum today for a demonstration of how security screening will be done during Games-time and it was quite informative.  I have already posted some suggestions through my 2010vanfan’s Guide to Attending Vancouver 2010, but I did learn a bit more today that may be of help.

1) There are 1,700 Police Officers from 118 Police Services across Canada helping with the security for Vancouver 2010.  Now that is just super cool.  This really is Canada’s Games!  These men and women want to be here to help and that is a very cool thing.  Keep an eye out for them, they’ll be wearing their ‘home’ uniforms, but don’t worry, they all look like Police Officers.

A few of the Police Officers from across Canada that will be helping with the Games!

2) You will have to go through security screening, but there are three ways this can be done.  The first is ‘standard screening’ – this means you have arrived at the venue with a bag that will need to be screened.  It will go through an x-ray machine and you will walk through a magnetometer.  The second is ‘express screening’ – this is for people that have not brought a bag or have brought only a very small bag; you will only have to pass through the magnetometer.  The third method seems to be called ‘accredited’ though I’m not sure I understand why.  Anyhow – this is where people with mobility devices such as wheelchairs will be screened.  It is also the screening area for anyone that requires different screening for personal or religious beliefs.  As you approach a venue “Welcoming Marshals” will be directing you to which security screening gate you must pass through to enter.  Note from Patti – the Welcoming Marshals are VANOC Event Services Staff and will be dressed in the Volunteer Uniforms;  they will most likely also have a yellow sleeve on the left arm. The contract Security team will be wearing wear black uniforms with colour coded scarves, toques and patches, depending on their training and role.   See the image below for what the different colours represent.

This photo is of an "accredited" security screening point - this sort of gate will be used for people with a disability or for people with personal or religious beliefs that prevent the use of the other gates.

The CSC contractor security uniforms - from left to right - green: supervisor, red: x-ray operator, yellow: screener, dark blue: venue manager, and light blue: outpost screener.

3) You will be permitted to bring sealed, bottled water with you to Mountain (Cypress and Whistler) venues during the Games and through security.  You will not be permitted bottled water with you while passing through security in Vancouver.  The reason there is a difference is that there is water available, free-of-charge, in all city venues, but not at the Mountain venues.  There will be beverages and snacks available in all venues.

4) And last of the security stuff – Doors will open 2 hours before the event starts for City events, 3 hours before the event for Mountain events and 4 hours before the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.  There will be things to do inside the venues and it really will be best to be early.  Check out TravelSmart2010 if you have questions about road closures, public transit or pedestrian corridors during the Games.

OK, there may be one more item from the Security Screening demo… I don’t like press scrums.  I know, that hardly seems to deserve its own paragraph but really it is very true.  They’re sort of odd, and I’m constantly worried about getting wacked in the head with a big camera or shoved out of the way for a story.  Ah well… I’ll get better at it.

Some of the media at the press conference.

On my way back downtown from the security demo I walked through the Sanctuary at the PNE. It was lovely, full of water birds and peacefulness.

*     *     *     *     *

The 5th floor of the Bay Downtown is being changed into an “International Market” where you can go and purchase the team clothing for several different nations competing in the Games, even including hockey jerseys and hats!  I love this section, it is really beautiful.  Team Canada is of course my favourite uniform but I also really like the uniforms for the Netherlands and Great Britain.  I also saw the US,Finland, Italy team uniforms.  You should go check them out (I hear the Russian uniforms will be in the store by February 2nd!).

Hockey uniforms for all of the teams playing at Vancouver 2010 (I think... 🙂 ).

Some of the team wear at the International Market on the 5th floor of the Bay downtown. Left to right: Finland (I think), USA, Canada, Italy and Great Britain.

*     *     *     *     *

My evening was spent with a new friend, talking about the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and all of our experiences with them.  We had a really lovely time and I even got really lucky and got to see Miga for a few minutes.  It was quick, but I’m always so very, very happy to see the Mascots that it really made my night!

Miga - Cute as ever!

*     *     *     *     *

It is already February 2nd.  I had meant to comment on it being February 1st but I missed it!  With only ten days to go I can feel the spirit amping up in the city and I love it!  Such an amazing feeling is building not just across Vancouver, but across BC, Canada and really the world!  So tell me everyone… Do you believe? I believe!

Thank you merci!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Patti permalink
    February 2, 2010 1:37 am

    I Believe and I always will!

  2. February 2, 2010 1:53 am

    Great post once again.
    Thanks for all those information on security very usefull for those who never attend Olympic Games.
    By being involved in such press conference, you will finish the games with a real official Media Accreditation !!!

  3. February 2, 2010 6:37 am

    So glad you became accredited; so much more information coming our way from you. Even here in Ontario you make us feel like we are there and yes we “believe”.
    Keep on keepin on, Andrea.

  4. Steph :) permalink
    February 2, 2010 7:56 am

    Thanks for the info, Andrea. I didn’t realize I couldn’t bring in my own water bottle.

    Yes, I BELIEVE…I’ve been saying that for years (as an X-Files fan) 🙂

  5. Tom permalink
    February 2, 2010 11:17 am

    Great stuff as always Andrea

  6. February 2, 2010 12:48 pm

    “The third method seems to be called ‘accredited’ though I’m not sure I understand why.”

    I believe, within the Integrated Security Unit, they are being referred to as Operations Gates.

    Yes – “this is where people with mobility devices such as wheelchairs will be screened. It is also the screening area for anyone that requires different screening for personal or religious beliefs.”

    This is also where ‘accredited guests’ (i.e. Vanoc, Police Officers, contractors, etc. – anyone who has accreditation [the big ID hanging from the pictured individuals’ lanyards] enter. The idea being, staff who are working at that venue can gain expedited entry. They are subject to screening like everyone else. I guess the idea is to not occupy the ticketed guests lines, since the ticketed guests as described above, will be the exceptions, not the majority.

    Thanks for the pictures of the security uniforms… do they look warm?
    I’ll be in a green toque and scarf. I like the Vanoc uniforms A LOT!!!!
    I’m open to trade once the Olympics are over

    Thanks for the great work Andrea – You have inspired me to blog about my experience, and write in my moleskine 🙂

    • 2010vanfan permalink
      February 2, 2010 1:58 pm

      Thanks so much Jeff – your explaination clarifies a lot for me! I’m very happy to hear that you’re excited!
      Thanks again,
      Andrea – 2010vanfan blogger

  7. Erin permalink
    February 2, 2010 7:45 pm

    Thanks for the heads up about the international market Andrea!
    I have been avoiding downtown for the past month so I would never had known about this wonderful gem. I must go to the Bay for a Norway hockey jersey and dig out my obnoxiously oversized flag for the myriad of games!

    Defend your spot in that press crowd with a hockey stick and show em who’s boss!

    • 2010vanfan permalink
      February 3, 2010 12:05 am

      Hi Erin,
      Yes, you definitely need a Norway jersey, that would be sweet! I think I had the official name wrong though – I think it’s called the International Village on the 5th floor though I suppose Market will do just fine.
      Hmm… your hockey stick idea may just work!
      Hope you’re well, happy Olympics to you!

  8. February 3, 2010 8:15 pm

    I am so impressed with your blog!!! Great job, I hope you are proud. I will be working with the CSC team (wearing my green color coded toque of pride) and my co-worker recommended I find your blog. In preparation for my security job I created a quicklist of Olympic information. Will you take a look and offer suggestions of must goto sites I can read to stay informed as we welcome the world to our Beautiful and proud city.

    Have a great games experience. I look forward to reading your posts.

    • 2010vanfan permalink
      February 4, 2010 12:17 am

      Thanks WJ,
      I certainly will be busy during the Games and doing my best to keep everyone informed. Unfortunately I won’t be able to get to all of the places I would like. Check out my links though for some other bloggers that will be around and writing and hopefully between all of us you’ll find the best stuff!
      Thanks for reading, and happy Olympics to you!


  1. 10 days 17.5 hours to go – KNOW BEFORE YOU GO! « 2010VanFan | Drakz Free Online Service
  2. 5 days 10 hours to go – Walkabout and “I should know better” « 2010VanFan

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