Saturday, February 20, 2010

Olympics Day #3 - "Reuse" Hockey Style

I had an Internet connection while in Vancouver, but not one that supported picture uploads very well (wait, wait, wait, crash, start over, wait, wait...) so I'm home now and recapping the week. If I had to pick two words to describe my Olympic experience, I think I would go with exhausting and exhilarating. I feel like I know this city better than my own after all we’ve covered! Transportation Day #3
4 Skytrains - the best part is all transportation is free all day to anyone with an Olympic ticket.

For a city who has won the Olympics bid, the next several years involve a lot of construction. New venues must be built for the competition, and, of course, the hope is always to be bigger, better, faster, and more innovative than any previous Olympics. Vancouver did a lot of building, but as a huge hockey city, this was one area they didn't need to build something new.

Canada Hockey Place was already here, as well as the UBC Thunderbird Arena so they were simply used their existing venues for the Olympics. This means that the games are played on North American size hockey rinks (60 x 26m) instead of international size (60 x 30m). I don't play hockey, but from my perspective, that was a good compromise given they already had 2 great hockey venues in downtown Vancouver. So many of the international players are on North American teams already that it didn't seem to ruffle any feathers. In keeping with Vancouver's sustainability goals, they saved money, trees, energy - and made the hockey fans happy because there were more seats available!

We were cheering on Finland who beat Belarus 5-1. Amazingly, a Finn they interviewed before the game predicted the exact score! We also saw Teemu Selanne (from the Anaheim Ducks) get the Olympic scoring record for ice hockey - he's in his fifth Olympics! Nice to see a 39 year old in the Olympics! That's him below just after slamming the Belarus guy into the wall - hard to get the action shot in a fast moving hockey game!
Here's my shot at the end of the game - after all that aggression on the ice, everyone shakes hands and plays nice...

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