Canada owned these Olympics!
While Americans will prattle on about winning the most medals (37), frankly, who cares. The key is GOLD medals and Canada whooped America’s collective 308,772,000 sorry asses on that front – 14 to 9.
Canada has a population 10 times smaller than the US. Even when taking the total medal count, and playing the ratios dictated by population means we produce medalists at a ratio of 1 medal for every 1.2M people while it takes the US 8.3M people to produce that same single medal. Clearly Canada is far more efficient at producing talent.
Norway actually wins this game with a ratio of 1 medal for every 210K people. Now that’s stunning talent.
Yes, we are returned from our Olympic odyssey.
The Dreadful Bits
- the Olympic “Spirit” is more about money than competition;
- the Games are – at their core and despite the pomp and ceremony – a drunkfest masquerading as sport;
- protesters – who have a valid message sure – should have used the two weeks they marched to better use by aligning themselves with Habitat for Humanity and building a home or two for the homeless in East Vancouver;
- the local host organizers (VANOC) should have stipulated that anyone partaking in the final lighting of the Olympic flame must be a Canadian living in Canada (it was utterly shameless that Wayne Gretzky who fled Canada and lives in Los Angeles was permitted the honour of lighting the cauldron);
- shame on VANOC for the fiasco that was the outdoor Olympic cauldron area with its chain link fencing. It created a barrier between spectators and the flame and made Vancouver and Canada look like some fascist state;
- lines, lines, lines … everywhere there’s lines.
- the weather was damn fine;
- the volunteers and Vancouver Public Transit did a super job moving us to, and into, venues safely and efficiently;
- the Canadian GOLD in hockey over USA (utterly priceless);
- Tessa Virtue and Scot Moir’s GOLD medal in ice dancing (their long program had me in tears it was so beautiful);
- Canada breaking the all time record for MOST GOLD medals at any Winter Olympic Game with fourteen.
- Canada breaking the all time record for MOST GOLD medals by a host country in Winter Olympic Games history with fourteen.
Fuck we’re an awesome country!
- time in Vancouver;
- time on Vancouver Island;
- time on Gabriola Island; and,
- time in Seattle.
We flew with Air Canada out to Seattle the Thursday before the games and then up to Vancouver Friday morning, the day of the Opening Ceremonies. We returned with United Airlines from Seattle (via Chicago). If you ever find yourself in Seattle for a night and need a great hotel right at the airport with excellent customer service, book at the Best Western Executal. The team there has customer service down to a fine art. Simple, clean rooms with an excellent breakfast and door-to-door service to SeaTac Airport.
On the flying adventure, I must admit neither Air Canada nor United Airlines first class food was great. The rice heading over to Seattle was hard as nails and the beef ‘tenderloin’ on United returning was overcooked and certainly not tender. In the battle of the lounges, we give the nod to the Maple Leaf Lounge at YYZ over the Red Carpet Lounge in either Seattle (or Chicago, where we had a layover). The Seattle Lounge was nice but you get unlimited free booze and better nibblies at the Maple Leaf Lounge.
3) the Canada Line arrives; 4) our home for part of our stay in Vancouver was at Woodwards (with much thanks to Sand and Don for lending us their second home)
5) more home; 6) the view west from Woodwards condo
7) the Woodwards rooftop amenity lounge has a great urinal with a view; 8) the coveted Opening Ceremony ticket
9) we lunched with Sand at Nuba (an excellent Lebanese restaurant); 10) the Opening Ceremonies kit contents
11) this is the line to get into the Hudson Bay Company store off Robson!; 12) the Olympic clock is at zero hours
16) Team Canada enters the stadium
21) Here we are dancing … if you look carefully, you might even see G and I
26) real blue fin tuna at Octopus Garden; 27) salmon sashimi
34) the view from the condo; 35) on our way to Harbour Air floating dock for flight to Nanaimo
38) I get a seat right behind the pilot; 39) Lion’s Gate Bridge from the plane
44) the main strip in Nanaimo; 45) lunch at the Modern Cafe
66 & 67) Sand and Blee wave bye bye as they head into the old growth forest in search of …
68) the trails are gorgeous and very Lord of the Ring-like; 69) me on the old logging trail
70) Here’s a moment of Gabriola zen I shot as we neared the cliff edge
71) the wee waterfall; 72) returning home
73) trails … this was VERY steep but the shot doesn’t show it;74) look waaaaay up
75) our Ferry arrives into Gabriola for the return to Nanaimo; 76) Nanaimo from the ferry
77) Nanaimo Harbour; 78) the Gabriola ferry taken from our float plane flying back to Vancouver
79 & 80) coming into Vancouver on the float plane (you can see the Olympic flame if you make these pictures bigger)
81) banking to land; 82) passing the Olympic flame taxing to the harbour
83) moi with the fascist flame; 84) heading to men’s figure skating short program (we’re right above the kiss and cry and sitting)
85) Patrick Chan takes the ice; 86) English Bay on a gorgeous morning walk from Maddy’s
87) on the tipy ferry heading over to Granville Island for coffee/breakfast; 88) safely landed
89) better than St. Lawrence Market; 90) G orders his coffee
91) choices, choices; 92) Blee and G wander
93 & 94) so many choices
95 & 96) looking over to False Creek
107) Caffe Artigiano makes THE BEST coffee in the world; 108) their baristas win the National Competition every year
115) Tojo’s … visit if you’re ever in Vancouver; 116) the tuna, deep-fried with mushrooms
149) the SeaTac lightrail line; 150) our room at W Seattle
169) our room at W Seattle; 170) we laid in lots of Olympic celebratory drinks
We are the true North, strong and free.