Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's coming to an end

In a few hours, the whole of Canada will stop. They will gather in front of their TVs and all watch the same show. The Men's Hockey Gold Medal Game. It's as exciting as it gets - Canada vs USA. For 60 minutes, I will stress, cheer, cringe, yell and hope. The best team will win.

However, before I settle into the game, which will be followed by the closing ceremonies - I will recap my last early morning shift. As all plans go - it didn't end up being the best day of photos. It was busy, and it was snowing HEAVILY. So instead of capturing all those great moments, I shoveled the ice rink so the 8 year old could play their tournament. I guess I am a good Canadian Girl.

our PR guy Will with Meredith Viera
Erik (who was NBC's "guy" the whole time) and Ann Curry
Of course, that doesn't mean I didn't capture any. It was the final day of filming for the Today Show, and I heard nothing but praise to Grouse for doing such a wonderful job. It's been a lot of fun, some early hours but a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am glad that I got to witness a piece of it.

Speedy Pederson Amercian Gold Medalist and Kristi Yamaguchi

Evan Lysack - Amecian Gold Medalist

NBC Today Show Crew Leaving Grouse Mountain I prepare an early lunch so we can sit down and enjoy the game, there is one thing left to be said

PS - Thanks Lisa for pointing out I can't spell, I have changed that.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

And the Trend Contines

I dragged my butt out bed early this morning. Early enough that it was dark. Very dark. But I was alert enough to grab my handy camera on my way out and head to the mountain.

Greeting me this morning was the snowguns going full blast. Maybe there is a little left in winter yet.

It was a Golden morning at the mountain when Canada's newest (and youngest) Olympians celebrated their new shiny jewelry. Tessa Verture and Scott Moir are just as sweet as they are amazing skaters. Even the guys around were saying what an amazing skate it was.

One thing that I have found this week, the pride that these Canadian athletes have is really about being Canadian as much as it is winning the gold. As these two young skaters interacted with the surrounding audience, it was so apparent that they were thrilled to take a few minutes and talk to everyone surrounding them.

The Americans were gracious, and as their last round of the games comes to a close in forth place - the showed what a true Olympian is all about while they interacted with the kids in the audience and enjoyed the moment.

Past Olympian skaters were so plentiful you could almost trip over them. Mom, this photo of Dorothy Hamill is just for you - see her hair still is nice! Here she is hanging with Grouse Mountain "regular" Kristi Yamaguchi. And Nancy Kerrigan was up hosting Access Hollywood on the mountain for her second time.

The NBC hosts had mentioned a few times in their broadcast about how much Vancouver is famous for sushi, and today they met up with famous local sushi guy Tojo. I got to try some of this food, and by far, the best sushi I have ever eaten. He says his sushi doesn't need soya sauce, and I couldn't agree more.

When you wake up early, in this beautiful city of mine, you are sometimes greeted with an overwhelming reason why you live here. This was todays.

And at the end of the show, NBC did some pre-taping of tomorrow or Thursdays show - all four hosts came to visit the Eye of the Wind. Please make sure you watch the show as it will give you a bit of insight as to how amazing this really is.

On my way back down the hill, I caught a little hockey action. Each morning that the Men's hockey is played at Canada Hockey Place, we do a little early session of the same teams. This morning some future Olympians challenged each other in a Canada vs. Germany scrimmage. Here is hoping Canada won this morning and does this same this evening.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Me and More Famous People

Burnaby Joe Sakic showed up at the mountain today. So he's not playing with Team Canada this year, but he has in the past and he's awesome! So I scored yet another autograph.

March is going to be soooo boring at work!

NOTE FOR MY AMERICAN FRIENDS: Joe Sakic is a hockey player. Hockey is a game we play here in the North. A game that you are seemingly figuring out. Joe plays for the Colorado Avalanche. We call him Burnaby Joe because he is from Burnaby BC, which is a suburb of Vancouver.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Winter Olympics?

Other than seeing skiing, hockey and curling on the TV, you would not know that this is the WINTER Olympics!! I don't ever remember a warmer sunnier February. While I enjoy it as an individual, and the kids are loving being able to play outside all day - it's not so good if you work at a ski hill!!

This morning we went to Winterfest at Lynn Valley Centre to see Bobs and Lolo. Braydon said it was baby music, but perked up as soon as his buddy Brad showed up.

This afternoon we played at the park and enjoyed this t-shirt and sunglasses weather.

But in less than an hour - the USA vs Canada hockey game starts. And like all good Canadians I must put on my hockey gear, get myself a beer and sit down on the couch (or do Canadian's say sofa, can never remember that one eh) to watch. GO CANADA!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ikea Wins!

I love hockey, even when Canada isn't playing. I was given tickets at work to go see an Olympic hockey game today - Belarus (ya, I know - where is Belarus) and Sweden. I kept laughing because at times I felt like I was in Ikea, with all the yellow and blue. Definitely a favorite going into the game - but it was closer than anyone expected. Seems that us Canadians like the under dogs because by the third period, we all wanted Belarus to win (even though two Canucks play for Sweden)

While I still want to get downtown and see the "real" crowds, it was a nice treat to get away from the hill and out into the actual games. We took the Seabus over and then hopped on the Skytrain, nice and fast and easy. Such a spectacular day - my city is shining.

Odd being in Canuck world with no sign of the home team. Not knowing to who cheer for - the crowd went nuts every time either team scored. It was just about the Canadian hockey spirit today. Alive and well.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Job Rocks

I was thinking that today would be a quiet "catch up at work today" kinda day. Then I got a call from a Vanoc Volunteer saying that he was driving the Rogge family around (if you don't know, Jack Rogge is the head of the IOC) and they didn't know about Grouse but he convinced them to come up. Um, ya we would love to have them.

So Jack himself was not in the group, but his son, daughter, daughter in law and grandchildren were. And since his son Philip is also part of the IOC, well we treated them to a spectacular day on the mountain.

With bluebird skies, I knew this was going to be a shining moment for this family, and I was lucky enough to be the escort for the day. I have have to say, they were such a nice "every day" family - who were so appreciative of the day, and what we were able to do for them.

The Eye of the Wind is about to open for public, but we were more than happy to make this available to them. It's moments like this morning when I say "take the camera to work Kirsten, you never know" that I am glad I listened to myself because - well, I think the photos speak for themselves.

How did I forget about Friday?

Oops, so busy I forgot to post photos from Friday! Here they are:

Al Roker (really nice guy, and way shorter in person than you would think!)

The crowd gathering outside on a foggy early morning

My BFF and Tracey's next husband, Michael Buble

And US Figure Skating Champion Kristi Yamaguchi (who has been here almost every day since as she is doing segments for NBC)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy Birthday Mom! Thank you for everything. For your love, your support, your guidance and you being such a good Mom.

I am glad we came up to celebrate it! As Kaylee said, what is a birthday without cake?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Golden Moments

Well, first congratulations to Alexandre Bilodeau for winning Gold on home turf!! With the weight of his country on his shoulders, it was fitting to find out today that he is just another good old Canadian boy. Wanna know how I know?

Well, read on.

We knew today would be a big show for the NBC Today Show. How big - well I couldn't have imagined. I had known for a few days that Wayne Gretzky would be on - the great one - #99. If you love hockey, you know who he is. And in this house, while not a "star struck" kinda person, I thought it would be cool to see him in person. You know, brush with fame. Then yesterday I learned that kd lang was going to be on the show - and after the opening ceremonies for the Olympic Winter Games, I thought - hey cool, she was awesome. The other favorite part of the ceremonies for me was Shane Koyczan (that is with a zed) and of course he was on too! WOW!

So my first brush, literally was with our Canadian Hero - Alex. He was on early and we were trying to get him a Whistler Water toque. All good Canadian boys need new toques after winning gold right?

Well, as timing had it this morning, the toque was running late, and I was the only one who had the chance to give it to him. I walked onto him private tram and said "Alex, you did Canada proud last night - it was an awesome run. Congrats on the Gold." Remember that star struck that I don't get? Stupid me should have taken my photo with him. Ooops. Anyhow, he was very nice about it, and it was cool to meet him.

But back up for a minute, cuz I caught something on film no one else did!! When he was heading down the mountain, coming up was Gretzky! Wayne got off the tram, stopped to congratulate Alex on the Gold, and I was fast enough to take a photo!

In the same instant, I put down my camera, ripped off my jacket and asked Gretzky to sign my (well, Chris') team Canada jersey. I have never asked anyone for an autograph, but this was my opportunity to do so, and now I have (ok, well Chris has) an autographed jersey (to be framed!) by #99. Good wife award for me!!

So back into my morning of opportunities, I got close up to watch Picabo Street do an interview - she is such an amazing skier and I love her attitude.

Ok, then all of a sudden, I find out that Wayne is going down the mountain - the PA asks me to arrange the tram, and the next thing I know I am personally escorting this hockey legend on my own to the Upper Red Terminal. Again, right place, right time.

I find myself next to Shane and managed to let him know that I thought his performance rocked and really captured Canada and Canadians well. He too was cool about it.
One would think that is my day for dealing with high profile peeps, but before I knew it, I was being asked to arrange the tram down for kd lang. Sure thing - I can make things happen. Then they ask if I can escort her down too. Ya ya, of course. Actually, she really didn't want anything to do with my on the way down, but I am the only one who got to go.

After a long day, I was looking forward to heading home and resting. Nope, no such thing today. But after a day like mine, who could complain. Anyone else have this good of a Monday?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Four Flames

Today was another day for my history books. I started it by chasing the Olympic Flame, and while I was wowed by the first opportunity, each one of the next three just got better. Hard to believe eh?

My first meeting with the flame today was watching my boss, the owner of Grouse, carry it. Here he is lighting up his torch, something very cool to see. Then running with his family, friends and team - well you could see how proud he was.

My next bought was something I really wanted to do as a parent - watch my kids watch the flame. I collected Kaylee from daycare and we found Braydon so we could all watch it go by together.

Not sure what he is saying in this photo, but I am going with it's something sweet (even if it wasn't!!).

I had KJ in my arms, so this isn't the best image of the flame, but proves that it's my second location of the day. Chris then took them up to the celebrations in Lynn Valley - where we hope to make it as a family at least once before the games are done.

It was a few hours later, but I have to say pretty amazing to witness. I watched the cauldron light the flame on top of the Skyride. This truly is one of our iconic pieces at the mountain, and not a whole lot of people actually ride ON TOP as they ascend to 3700 feet in the air.

It came back down with another torch barer, the fourth in the leg of Grouse (I missed two legs at the top because I was at the base). To watch these athletes in awe while they hold the torch, it's just something words can't capture.

The games haven't even started, and already my Canadian pride has jumped into gold level. Go Canada Go!

Oh ya, and one photo to prove that I was part of the day!