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Day 8 – Ziptrekking Robson Square

March 19, 2010

I slept in a bit… I dawdled a bit… I stopped for coffee (and to look at shoes) on the way… I didn’t arrive at Robson Square until 10:20am today, with the goal of ziptrekking over Robson Street.  I shouldn’t have slept in, dawdled or stopped for coffee, and I should have believed them when they said it was a 5 hour wait.  But I did all of the above (except believe them) and I am so happy that I did!  I was convinced it wouldn’t take that long.  But minutes turned to hours and we were still all in line.  But really, it was a fun line.  We all chatted about the lineup, the Olympics, the Paralympics, the lineup, Vancouver, ziptrekking, the lineup and more.  I went by myself but managed to run off and get food as people happily held my spot for me.

Getting clipped in and ready to go. It was worth it just for the view from the take-off tower!

Five hours of lineup seems insane for 30 seconds of guide-wired flying but it was well worth it, the flight was bliss!  I even managed to sort of video it, though it is a bit swirly and bumpy.  The woman also in the video with me is Elfie (I’m so happy we got to ziptrek together!).  Elfie had convinced her two neighbours to go ziptrekking with her as none of their friends would go.  Interestingly, she’s German from the Munich area – near where my brother lives!  Small world some days.  And yes, it was 5 hours of lineup (sunny, happy, fun lineup) for about 30 seconds of ziptrekking but I’m so glad I went!  I’d happily go again if I could make the time!  I’m certainly going to try it up at Whistler now… possibly even on Sunday (when you’re done you get a 10% discount coupon!).  Yay! Yay!  I love flying!

Well, I really hadn’t anticipated such a long lineup, so I didn’t bring my volunteer clothes with me, which turns out to have been very silly of me.  I luckily was wearing a lot of Vancouver 2010 clothing though, so I went straight to my volunteer shift without changing into my smurf blues.  I felt a bit bad, but I was already late (I didn’t want to leave the line after 4.5 hours of waiting!).  Turns out it wasn’t so terrible.  My level of Vancouver 2010 clothing was sufficient and I did have my accreditation so no problems getting into the Village.

It was beautiful in the Village today.  In all of Vancouver really.  It was sunny and quite warm.  Heck, the Salt Building was toasty when I got there!  It gave me the perfect opportunity to open the large, wall-width sliding doors along the front of the building to get some air inside.  It’s the first time that the doors had been open while I was there and it was a real treat!  We only managed to keep them open for about an hour or so, before it got too cold, but I really think that they’re an amazing feature of the renovated building.  I can’t wait until it is open to the public!

Evening in Vancouver.

The sunset was gorgeous.  The Salt building was reasonably busy.  And there was a sledge hockey game on between Canada and Norway for the Bronze medal.

Now, I know that if you’re Canadian, you’ve probably already heard the outcome (Norway won, and it was a pretty darned good game).  But I’m going to tell you about my experience tonight, because it was unlike anything I’ve ever been exposed to before.  People like Canadians.  We’re likeable people.  We’re friendly and welcoming.  We like to help out where we can.  Really, people from around the world do like Canadians.  However, I’ve learned that there are quite a few in the Paralympic Village that are not particularly fond of our sledge hockey team.  It was the first time I’ve been somewhere where the majority of people weren’t cheering for the same team as me.  And it was very odd.

Watching the Canada-Norway game in the Salt Building.

We had team members from Japan, Norway, Great Britain and the USA in.  They were all cheering for Norway.  Only us blue-coats were cheering for Canada, and technically, while volunteering, we are meant to be impartial, so we couldn’t even really cheer Canada on all that much anyway.  Now, as I mentioned yesterday, I am not particularly competitive.  This is especially true once I’ve met people.  I’ve met much of the Norwegian team and they’re lovely.  However, I think our Canadian boys are lovely too.  I did want Canada to win, but I did not feel as if I couldn’t cheer and be happy for Norway at the same time.  But being surrounded by people that wanted Canada to lose so badly was just odd.  I can’t imagine that I’ll be in that situation again anytime soon, and I think I’m glad for that.  It was a growing and learning experience and not just for me.  I really believe that Japan’s great showing (possibly even Gold medal showing) will help to spark new interest in sledge hockey around the world and that is a great thing for the sport.  It is an amazing game to watch, and I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to play.  I look forward to seeing a lot more of it in the future!

Right, I need to get to sleep.  I’m off shopping for some of the Vancouver 2010 gear (like couches and stacking chairs) with my uncle in the morning (eek! it’s already morning!).  So goodnight, bonsoir, thank you and merci!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Bob permalink
    March 20, 2010 12:12 am

    Yes, the line-ups were long … zip line, Vancouver Art Gallery (free again) and the Royal Mint Olympic Medals. I stood in line for almost 5 hours to photograph and touch the medals! I joined the line at 12:30pm just as they cut off the line!!! Apparently people starting lining up at 6am!

    If you plan on visiting the Royal Mint Olympic/Paralympic medal exhibit on the weekend get there early … very early or you will not get in. If you arrive by the time the exhibit opens (10am Saturday & Noon Sunday) you may not get in. Suggestion … get they by 8am!

    Tomorrow it is off to see the Gold Medal sledge hockey game with my winning tickets from CTV!!! I am so lucky!

  2. Lisa permalink
    March 20, 2010 8:12 am

    Hi Andrea – we have a Japanese homestay student with us at present, and she is soooooooooo excited that Japan is in the final! Canada has done so well with its medal haul that it feels kind of good to spread the wealth around! Go Japan Go!!!!!!! P.S. Congrats on your zipline adventure. I’m too chicken!

  3. March 22, 2010 12:35 am

    WHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!:O)

  4. Natty permalink
    March 22, 2010 10:12 am

    Lovely ziptrek photo! Thanks for sharing your video. It gave me a taste of what I missed. I didn’t have the time to line up because I got a last minute ticket to the Curling Gold and Bronze finals. One of the last 3 tickets!

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. Will you keep it up? And keep us posted about how you’re dealing with the aftermath of the Olympics and Paralympics?

    I understand what you mean about waiting a long time for a short payoff. I waited 3 hours to see the Medals with with 10-15 (?) others for 10mins, but it was worth it. It’s hard to describe. It sounds so silly to people who haven’t had the opportunity.

    ps I have to admit I’m a wee bit envious that you got to hold the medals at the wrap-up party. It sounds like it was a well-deserved priviledge.

    pps I’m surprised at the others’ reaction to our Sledge-hockey team. Do you know why they had that response? I was sad when I read your comment.

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