February 14, 2010. Happy Valentine's Day! I had enough of those early mornings, so I let myself sleep a tiny bit later. And then I slept an extra bit later, without letting myself. Needless to say, by the time I'd showered, eaten the Dutch girl's breakfast, watched Olympic highlights on TV and chatted with someone in the hostel, I was late for the long bus ride. I grabbed a cab. The most expensive cab of my life. But it was the Olympics, and I'd already vowed to spend as much money as I needed to in order to have the best possible time. That vow was so worth it! [Especially since by now, the whole shindig is paid off :D].
Taking the bus, I would have had to walk for a while. The cab let me off 500 feet from the Richmond Olympic Oval.
Definitely the most wonderful Olympic venue. Its gigantic! So beautiful!
I took a stroll around the building. Sadly, the entire thing was fenced off and much of it surrounded by security and concession tents (the building itself contained no space for concessions, washrooms, etc. since it will be converted to a multi-use sports facility later, and wont need that sort of thing) so there wasn't a fantastic photo opportunity here.
While waiting in line for security, I took a picture of some pretty fish art. The guy beside me was wearing wooden clogs! The Dutch were definitely out in full force for their favourite sport!
Since we were somewhat near the airport, I decided to test my camera's limits. I was impressed.
I got inside and climbed to the top of the stands to get the full effect of the gorgeous oval. My seat was very close to the ice, just a few rows back, in the middle, across from the finish line.
The massive roof made of wood killed by pine beetles was so nice. Well done, whoever thought of using that wood!
I got another poor soul to figure out my camera (really she just had to push the button, but she couldn't even figure that out). I was a sucker for pictures of me under the rings.
Kristina Groves came out for a little practice skate.
A Dutch band called Kleintj Pils (which means Little Beer) came out to play several times. Apparently they travel the international speed skating circuit, playing at all the events. They were fun!
Here I am in front of the ice, and in front of that hot coach with the beard!
Out came the faulty Olympias! Interestingly, while one of them was broken and causing delays, I was too busy having fun to notice!
The band just kept playing all the classics.
The crowd was a sea of red and orange. I should have bought a pair of the orange gloves with the Netherlands flag on the cuffs, but I didn't want to clash! And its all about the red mittens.
Cindy Klassen came out for a practice.
How can you not love her?