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Days 9 and 10 – Line, parties and the closing…

March 21, 2010

Technically both days 9 and 10 of the Paralympics have passed since I last wrote, however I sort of missed Saturday night so it’s been all one great big, fabulous day for me!  It’s been full of lines, a great party, a visit to Whistler and the Paralympic Closing Ceremonies.  I’ll start at the beginning shall I… with the lines.

The British Columbia Government has started the sale of assets from Vancouver 2010 to workforce and volunteers of the Games (it will be open to the public from Saturday 27th).  As a volunteer we were allowed to bring one guest to the sale.  I brought my uncle, Michael, along with me.  Michael is the Executive Director of the new Chilliwack Cultural Centre.  As they’re just finishing building the new facility he needs a lot of things to fill it up with, like furniture, mop buckets, fabric steamers, measuring tapes and much, much more.  The asset sale was the perfect place to start getting these items at a great price.  Now, I spent many hours in line to ziptrek on Friday, and it was well worth it, I had not however anticipated really long lines for the sale.

I knew there would be lines… but not as long as they were in real life.  We arrived a bit before the sale opened at 9am and met up with Dave and Rachael.  We didn’t leave until 4:30pm!  We waited in line to get in – about 1.5 hours (luckily there was a food stand with very yummy breakfast wraps) and when we got inside the warehouse I immediately got in the payment line as we had heard that it was going to be a wait in there as well.  Each of us took turns in line, though Michael mostly shopped, and shopped, and shopped.  We started a pile, a very big pile, that had to be guarded from other rampaging shoppers.  It was a blast.  There were all sorts of fascinating people and had lots of time to get to know them!  We were pretty darned successful all in all.  We got lots of things for the new Cultural Centre.  And I even found a few little things for myself, like a great umbrella!

From the sale I headed home to change.  I had been planning on getting up to Whistler to hopefully see some alpine skiing, as my ticket for Sunday had been cancelled and the races moved to Friday and Saturday.  But, as I spent way more time at the sale than I anticipated I decided to stay in Vancouver instead and go in to the Village to help in the Salt Building.  It was the last real night that the athletes would be in the Village and many of them had shiny new medals to show off.  It was a great night!

Sumi planning his next shot in shuffleboard.

The party lasted into the not so wee hours of the morning!  Sumi came in to visit early in the night.  I’m pretty sure that members of all the teams in the Village came in at one point or another, though some stayed much longer than others.  I got to hold Gold and Bronze medals from sledge hockey!  There was a dj that rocked the place.  I’m so glad that I had the chance to be there and be involved.  I really am spoiled rotten!

However, with the party going to the morning hours it did force me to readjust my plans for Whistler again.  I headed up around 9:30am (I had been planning on catching the 6:30am bus!).  I met Justin and Mike for lunch.  I napped.  I shopped a bit and then met up with Rachael and Dave for dinner before the Closing Ceremonies of the Paralympic Winter Games.

The Ceremony was great!  There were lots of fireworks and fantastic acts.  I think my favourite was done my an artist that created a constantly moving art piece, I think using sand.  It was really beautiful!  The Paralympic Flag was lowered and passed on to Sochi.  The Paralympic Flame was extinguished, with a Torch passed on to Sochi.  And then… Vancouver 2010 came to a close.  I had been thinking that I was ready for the moment.  It’s been a wonderful experience.  Amazing sport, great art and a coming together of people in a way that won’t be duplicated for a long time.  It’s been exhausting but well worth it and I thought I was ready to say goodbye.  But standing at the Closing… I realised I still wasn’t ready.  I didn’t want to give up the flag waving and cheering, the amazing sport and even more amazing new friends, the visitors and locals all coming together in joy.  I wasn’t ready.  I’m still not ready but it is all done now, whether I’m ready or not.

The projection of the sand art. He constantly manipulated it and changed its entire look with the sweep of a hand!

Fireworks at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Closing Ceremonies.

Rachael and Dave after the Closing Ceremonies.

Me after the Closing, with the very clever noisemaker/banner that they handed us at the door. The noisemaker was great. It's hard to make much noise clapping when you have mittens on!

I’m not quite done writing yet.  There are a few things I’d still like to talk about, and maybe some wrap up stuff, such as how the city and the region goes back to ‘regular’ life now.  I suspect my PODS (post-olympic depression syndrome) is really just starting.  But I’ll let you know how I’m going.  Until then, thank you merci!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2010 12:30 am

    Warning: PODS isn’t good. The OGs finished over 3 weeks ago, I have been home almost 2 weeks and still I haven’t recovered or got back into a good routine. I should expect it will be worse for Vancouverites has you will watch your Olympic city being dismantled in front of your eyes 😦

    I now have the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi to look forward to in October. It will bring a whole set of new (and difficult) challenges.

    It has been great reading about your activities Andrea, I hope you have soft recovery from the Games.

  2. Tom permalink
    March 22, 2010 2:31 am

    One games finishes – but the great thing is that another is around the corner. Vancouver will always be extra special for you – but you can always volunteer for other Olympic and Commonwealth Games or just go along to spectate. I’m glad you haven’t finished writing just yet…

  3. Derek permalink
    March 22, 2010 5:53 am

    Thanks for your sweet writings, you write very well and reading it we get the feeling we were there with you. About the lineups at the sale, we were there at 8 am got in at 9:15 and the computers and TV’s were already gone. (I was there with a Volunteer t0 get her a computer). The cash line was an hour and a half of shuffling inch by inch. Hopefully they improve some of that as the sale will continue for two months, yes additional stuff will be added as pavilions come down and other stuff comes available. Please keep on writing, a lot of us are in PODS 🙂

  4. March 22, 2010 6:00 am

    Thank you so much for letting us all enjoy this fantastic voyage of yours first with the Olympics and then the Paralympic Games. This has been a great ride thanks to you especially during the Paralympics as we had so little media coverage. Thank goodness they relented and showed us here in Ontario the Closing Ceremonies live. Once again great pictures of this on your part. I
    hope your withdrawel is slow and painless. Take care.

  5. marcy oakley permalink
    March 22, 2010 8:47 am

    Thank you for all your posts. I really enjoyed your writting. It was so inspiring, it made me get out there and enjoy what the world was doing in Vancouver!
    Very commendable that you maintained your excellent posts.
    Cheers &…
    Thank You,Thank You,Thank You!

  6. Natty permalink
    March 22, 2010 10:15 am

    Wow. Wow. Wow. and Wow.

    Thank you for sharing your adventures and photos!

    (Most of my thoughts are in your Ziptrek post. So don’t forget to check those comments too!)

  7. Sharon permalink
    March 22, 2010 1:18 pm

    Bravo. You have allowed many of us to live vicariously through your writing. You should be very proud of your blog and what it represents.

    No doubt, the crash, burn and hangover will be immense but just think – it was one hell of a party!

  8. Jo-Anne permalink
    March 22, 2010 5:30 pm

    Yes, it was one helluva’ party. It took me days to come down from just three days of excitement so empathize with you on the time it will take to recover. One hell of a ride with you, Thanks so much for your words every day.

  9. Bob permalink
    March 22, 2010 9:25 pm

    Sunday was a crazy, crazy madhouse at the Pin Trading Centre at the Bay downtown. It was wall to wall people trading pins. The crowd spread out into the aisles, into the Coke Cafe and beyond. Some even went to another floor to trade in peace! It was by far the most people that I have seen there since the Trading Centre opened in January.

    For those wanting to continue trading and to complete their collections, you are invited to the Pacific Pin Club Pin Show this coming weekend. It runs from 10am-5pm on Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday at the Capital Hill Community Centre in North Burnaby. The address is 361 South Howard … 5500 block of Hastings. We expect a large turnout so come early.

  10. elspeth permalink
    March 23, 2010 5:03 pm

    I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy any aspect of the games without this incredible enthusiastic blog. It was the only experience I had of Vancouver2010 pretty much…and I live here! Thank you it has been so much fun to read your words and see what an accomplished reporter you have become. Amazing!
    Catch up with you soon.


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