Saturday, March 20, 2010

March 13 & 14 - Curling :)

With the whirlwind of activities, school exams and lack of sleep, it's been hard for me to blog. But finally, I've gotten time to blog about my Vancouver 2010 Paralympic experience!

On March 13 and 14, several StudentsLive members attending the curling game at the Vancouver Paralympic Centre. I actually never knew that much about curling, but I had watched it on TV when the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games were on. I swear, TV does NOT give curling any justice what so ever. The major difference between curling live and on the TV just astound me.

First of all, I had no clue that when you watch curling live, there are actually 4 games occurring all at the same time. On March 13 , we had the honour to watch:

Korea vs. The United States of America
Great Britain vs. Canada
Sweden vs. Switzerland
Germany vs. Norway

I have to admit, it is very difficult to watch curling live because it's hard to focus on one game at a time. Sometimes you suddenly hear a roar of cheering and you have no clue what just happened because you were focusing on another game occurring on a different sheet.

Four games, going all at once!

At first , I was wondering how the curlers would sweep, as they are in a wheelchair. But once the game started, I figured out that in wheelchair curling, there are NO sweepers what so ever. Another cool fact is that when the release the stone, the wheelchair is steadied by another teammate (look at photo below).

Team Canada's Sonja Gaudet steadies Team Canada's Ina Forrest.

Wheelchair curling is actually a very new sport, as it made it's Paralympic debut in Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games. Teams consist of male and female curlers with varying impairments of the leg(s) or gait functionality.

The games on the 13th was truly intense, having Canada win 9-2 against Great Britain and a close tie with Switzerland and Sweden , with the final outcome of 7-6, giving Switzerland the win.

Jim Armstrong, looking very happy after a great victory!

On March 14th, we were able to watch:
Norway vs. Canada
Italy vs. Switzerland
The United States of America vs. Germany
Japan vs. Korea

With another 8 ends of non-stop action, it was Italy who had won a great 13-4 against Switzerland. But what I loved about that game was actually the Japan and Korean fans in the section across from us. They truly showed spirit and were defiantly fantastic supporters with their huge flags waving and the cheers in Japanese or Korean! :)

Capping the game off was Canada, coming through from the back and earning a 6-5 win against Norway. The Norwegians were fantastic, great sports and also had some cool pants , just like the Norwegian curlers in the Olympics!

CURLING WITH NORWAY = COOL PANTS.

All in all, I had a fantastic time at the two curling games and learned a lot :)

¸ -xoxo Lorie

Sunday, March 14, 2010

U Theatre of Taiwan : Sound of the Ocean

While the aftermath of crowds in Vancouver has slowly settled down, the Cultural Olympiad has still been running strong with a variety of amazing performances available in Vancouver. It was great to take a break from watching all the fantastic sports going on, but the able to take a breath in and enjoy the cultural aspects that the games bring to each hosting city. I was lucky enough to head out to downtown on Friday night and watch an incredible show called " U Theatre of Taiwan: Sound of the Ocean".


The show featured 15 drummers, both male drummers and female drummers. The show began dark, with the drummers slowly walking out on stage. It was quiet, peaceful and calming as they each individually sat down next the the drums. After all the drummers were on stage, with a swift movement of the lead drummer, the beats of the drum brought the theatre to life. You wouldn't believe the amount of power and passion they had. Each person played a part to the symphony of roaring sounds, like the waves of the ocean. No matter how large or small the drum was, every performer was in sync was each other, to the timing of when they raised their drumsticks to the air, to the unique jumps that they did. It definitely wowed the crowd and was a fantastic start to the show.


After the first set of drumming, the drummers then came out in simple white cloths and slowly sat down with a drum about the size of a watermelon. They were so quiet, so serene. The small "tap-tap-tap-tap" of the drums started and the lights turned blue. I had then realized that the drums were portraying the sound of rain. It started very light and then the beats got louder and faster, taking the audience into a storm and then back to the small pitter-patters of the light spring rain. I had actually closed my eyes during this set, which made it even more interesting because I actually thought it was raining :)

In the next set, large drums were brought out and the drummers were in maroon/beige cloths. This set was to show a rise of a day in the world of nature. There was a male singer who came out and had a beautiful voice. He could hold notes forever and I was just mesmerised by his singing. It was powerful, upbeat, but had a tune that you know was comforting. The drummers then sped up and also had featured several turns and jumps. What I loved about this show was that everything was in sync. From the fact of everyone was walking with the same feet, to the speed of how they drummed. Everything was in perfect unison.

The final set was amazing. The amount of power they had! As a dancer myself, I know how hard it is to perform under those hot stage lights. When the male drummers were performing, you could just see the streams of sweat on them. The female drummers were also sweating, and you could see the beads of sweat on all on their foreheads. The final set was a final celebration of nature. The show had simply amazed me. What made it so hard was that each set was about 20 minutes; meaning that the performers had to drum for 20 minutes, rapidly and passionately. After the final set, the crowd gave a standing ovation while clapping. The performers were so happy with us that they gave us another set (since it was like we were asking for an encore).

Shows like "U Theatre of Taiwan: Sound of the Ocean" are to never be missed. It is creative visionaries such as Liu Ruo-Yu (founder/artistic director) in collaberation with Huang-Chih-Chun (music director) that can create such a show that a pleasure to watch and hear.

-xoxo Lorie

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our spirits glow.

The Olympics are always bringing the spirit out of us, in together unite us as a whole to celebrate the games and to show our support. That was very evidently clear yesterday night when some of the StudentsLive reporters got to attend the FIRST VICTORY CEREMONY of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Everyone was in full out spirit, whether you were wearing your Canada flag as a cape (Tanya Shum did, go check out her blog at http://tanyastudentslive.blogspot.com/ as she is also StudentsLive reporter) or waving your flag wildly to the cheers of the crowd. The victory ceremony we went to was "BC Night" and was held in BC Place. It was my first time going to BC Place and I must tell you, the stadium is AMAZING! Here are some pictures of outside the stadium and the inside:

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Game flags, consisting of pictures of the sports.


Lineups for security screening before entering BC Place.


A picture with the Olympic rings :)


The flag of the nations participating in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games :)


Mass amounts of seating for mass amounts of fans!
After we all got in our seats, Tamara Taggart and Ben Mulroney hosted the Victory Ceremonies and got the crowd very pumped! Following that, a first nation performance was on and it was spectacular! I've never seen something like that in my whole life and the sound of the chanting and drum beats just felt so down to earth. Several performances followed that, such as fiddlers with Irish dancers, ballet dancers from Goh Ballet, models showing off gorgeous unique outfits, drummers, martial artists doing some capoeria, Bollywood dancers and MUCH MORE!

What I love about the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games is that it brings culture. It has brought out the flavours of our unique vibrant city and I think it's a great thing to show the world. We're showing the world our roots with the fantastic first nation arts and performances and we're expressing our love for culture with all the different ethnic shows around the city.
First Nation Performance!

White confetti = Snow :)

But what made the night even more amazing was watching the athletes receiving their medals. The sound of the gold medalists national anthem, the uproar of cheering and the sight of the flags being raised was the best. You could just imagine how loud the cheering was when Kristina Groves received her bronze medal for Speed Skating - Ladies' 3000m and when Jennifer Heil received her silver medal in Freestyle Skiing - Ladies' Moguls. Now when Tamara Taggart had announced to us that Alexandre Bilodeau won the FIRST GOLD MEDAL FOR CANADA in Freestyle Skiing- Men's Moguls, the CROWD WENT WILD! Canada flags were waved, cheering was at its loudest and plenty of people were jumping for joy! Not only the athletes that were receiving their medals teary eyed, but there fans in the crowd also holding back tears.

To finish the night, Grammy award winning Nelly Furtado performed and it was fabulous. The crowd sang with her and it was also my first concert ever. I love the fact that on the very first ceremony (BC Night) , they got Nelly Furtado to come and sing. What I found surprising was after 2 or 3 songs, there were people who started leaving. I would of thought that everyone would stay for the concert. Anyways, I'm hoping that everyone is having just as much fun as I am during these 27 days because their are plenty of great activities you can do around town and if you're not going out, you can always cheer on your favourite team at home!

-xoxo Lorie

Saturday, February 13, 2010

TORCH RELAY!

There are moments in life which will always stay in your memory , for they are exceptionally memorizing. That's what my Tuesday was. Tuesday was the day the Olympic flame would pass through Richmond and ignite a spirit within all of us that cannot be held back. Tuesday started heading off to school decked out in red and white, not to mention the 2010 Vancouver mittens :)

I practically spent the day at school getting pumped for the huge block party after school. When the bell rang, I ran home, dropped off my bags and headed over to the Steveston Community Centre with my friend, Hazelle. There was live entertainment of a rock band, free Canada and Olympic flags, hot chocolate, cookies, pins and cool temporary Canada tattoos. The torch was to pass right by our houses at 5:50pm and right in front of our houses was where a torch barer would light another torch for another bearer. We RAN LIKE MANICS down the streets to get to our houses. Luckily, we made it just in time! Then party music was played, police lights were down the streets and then I saw a line of cars coming down. I was so excited, I couldn't even explain it. When the flame was getting closer, our neighbours cheered so loudly with us and we just looked all so happy! I can't even describe how amazing it was to watch the Olympic flame being passed, so I took a video :)


video

After the torch relay, Hazelle, My mom and I immediately headed over to the OZone to catch the celebrations and to watch Rick Hansen light the cauldron . When we arrived, the OZone was packed and the security line up was HUGE! Thankfully, none of us had big bags, so we went through the line VERY QUICKLY. But that wasn't the only huge crowd. The OZone was jam packed, with no bleachers to sit on and a mass sea of people holding neon glow sticks, waving them to the beat and Canada flags being waved everywhere. Arriving at 7pm, we just shuffled through people and had ended up RIGHT AGAINST THE FENCE, FRONT ROW at 8:40pm. But what made my night was singing our national anthem, which resulted in me crying because it was so such a surreal moment filled with emotions and pride. The sound of over 30,000 people singing "O Canada" made me realize how real the moment was. Through out the night, there were lots of great performances and plenty of cheering!



But what made the long wait in the cold weather was Rick Hansen lighting the cauldron at the OZone. It was like magic, the moment was worth the long wait. As Rick Hansen spoke to the crowd, his words touched my heart. Rick Hansen is great inspiration and just proves that nothing can ever hold you back. I'm hoping that I'll have an opportunity to talk to him in person!



Fireworks were lit at 9pm and we stayed at the Ozone until 10pm. I think it was one of the best days I ever had and I really looking forward to the rest of the amazing journey! This night was just a small taste of what's to come for the next 27 days. GO CANADA GO!





-xoxo Lorie

Sunday, February 7, 2010

4 DAYS, YESS!

There's exactly 4 days until the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games starts and you can feel the spirit around you anywhere in Vancouver! From buildings decorated with red and white signage saying " GO CANADA GO!" to the eccentric colours of blue and green, embroidering downtown and Richmond. Today the StudentsLive team got to have an amazing experience; we went for a tour at the Robson Media Centre and on the way, we got to meet the members of the Czech Republic luge team for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games! :)

That's a picture of Adeleine and I with the Czech Republic's luge team! They were all really nice :)
The athletes starting from left to right is: Ondrej Hyman (age 23, Men's Singles), Lubos Jira (age 19, Doubles), Jakub Hyman(age 25, Men's Singles) and Matej Kvicala (age 20, Doubles).

I'm on the left side, Adeleine is on the right; go check out her blog at http://www.gamemisconducts.blogspot.com/ as she is also part of the StudentsLive team and will also be covering the Games.



Now for those who don't know about luge, here's a little info.

Luge is one of the Winter Olympic sports and the word "luge" means sled in french. Luge had made it's first debut in the 1949 Games in Innsbruck and is quite evidently a VERY fast sport. Luge involves either a single racer or double racers sitting on a fiberglass sled. There are fixed handles in the ice that the racers pull on and then they burst out of the start. The racers then use spiked gloves on the ice surface for extra acceleration before lying down on their backs. Their feet are stretched out in front of them and their heads are laided back to be as aerodynamic as possible, to ensure fast speed. To steer, the racers use their legs and shoulders and when they want to brake, they sit up and put their feet down and pull on the sled runners.

The track they race on is called a labyrinth and is made up of left and right turns with NO STRAIGHT sections in between. You can imagine how fast this sport is! In the Winter Olympic games, all the luge events are timed to the thousandth of a second.

Along with meeting the 4 Czech Republic athletes, the StudentsLive team got to take a tour of the Robson Media Centre, which is also called the International Media Centre. The Robson Media Centre is where different media will be working on stories, interviewing and much more. Here are some photos that I took during our tour!



Along with the amazing tour, I was walking around Robson Street and took some pictures of the great pieces of art; the pieces totally bring out the cultural vibe to the city. I would defenitly recommend going to Robson Street by public transit as during the games it will be the easist and quickest way to get around.




Anyways, today has been an AMAZING DAY :) I'm extremely excited for the Games to start and I'm sure that there will be lots of spirit!
- xoxo Lorie

Thursday, January 14, 2010

QUICK UPDATE!

Sorry about not updating for a while, there's been lots of busy events going on and I haven't had enough time to update my blog :(

But anyways, the Paralympic blog entry WILL DEFINITELY BE UP WITHIN THE NEXT WEEK! I just need to find some time......

Oh, quick fun note ; I've been wearing my 2010 Vancouver red mittens every single day to school :D

That's all for now,
-xoxo Lorie

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Just a food filled weekend :)

Sorry I haven't been updating a lot, but I think my weekend deserves to be shown. It was pretty amazing :)

Friday night , hotpot in the cold January days :)


For those who don't know what hotpot is, it's dipping raw meat, seafood or vegetables into a boiling hot flavoured soup, which then cooks the food . Hotpot is usually eaten with a variety of sauces that are combined to together. I went with my usual, soy sauce, hot chili paste, ginger, scallions and a bit of peanut butter. Yes, peanut butter. It makes the sauce come together.

Hotpot night included : Fresh lobster, AAA Angus beef, lamb shoulder, Enoki mushrooms, fish paste balls, tofu, fresh oysters. Soup base? Took chicken stock, dunked all the shell of the fresh lobster into the stock, boiled it for 20 minutes to get a nice delicately flavoured lobster broth.

Saturday brunch at Browns Social House (Richmond location) - New Mexican Hash :)

Sorry for the terrible photo, I need to get into the habit of taking a picture of the food before I start eating it. But anyways, my mom and I went for Saturday brunch at Browns Social House and we both ordered the "New Mexican Hash" and freshly squeezed OJ. Got to say, this is my favourite brunch ever. The hash included 2 poached eggs, pulled pork, a bit of salsa, sour cream, scallions, banana peppers (my mom thinks they're too spicy , so her hash didn't have them) mojo potatoes (they're like seasoned french fries and they taste like heaven) and "tobacco onions" , which were like mini pepper and salt onion rings but they were in long strips. The runny yolk was great for dunking the mojo potatoes in and the pulled pork was so tender . Great brunch. The items they have on their menu has just been done too many times, but this hash is simply fabulous.

Rating : 7.5 out of 10
Browns Social House
1020-11660 Steveston Hwy.
Richmond , BC
604-275-3322

Saturday night , laid back noodles.

Just some Japanese noodles with slow cooked lamb and carrots with the braising sauce :) Delicious! Home-styled food made by my mom tastes the best on cold nights .

Sunday morning - PANCAKES MADE FROM SCRATCH!

I made pancakes from scratch this morning for my mom and I. They were really tasty, especially with the fresh strawberries, orange slices and a mixed berrycompote. Enough said, those pancakes were really fluffy :) Oh, and I made a happy face on my pancake, ehehe!

SUPPORTING CANADIAN ATHLETES! FINALLY GOT RED MITTENS!


To top off my weekend, I finally got pair of the Vancouver 2010 red mittens! :) Supporting our Canadian athletes ! Red shirt + red mittens :D

So that was a view of my weekend :) Stayed tuned this week, a blog entry about the 2010 Vancouver Winter Paralympic Games is soon to come!

-xoxo Lorie

Monday, January 4, 2010

Setting up your cellphone with TWITTER !

When you're on the go and you want to update your twitter with a new tweet , you can send a tweet through your cellphone.

Go on www.twitter.com on your computer
On the main page , look at the upper right corner and click on settings.
It should show a bar that contain account, password, mobile, notices, picture and design. Click on mobile.
Grab your cellphone and send a text message saying the word START to 21212 (for mobile use in Canada) .

You should then receive a text message back from twitter saying:
"Welcome to Twitter! Reply with SIGNUP to begin"
Already on Twitter? Reply with your username instead.

So if you already have a twitter account, just reply to the text message with your username. Once you have, you should then receive a text message saying:

"Hi, _______. reply w/ your password to tweet on this phone.
(Passwords are Case Sensitive!! Your phone may capitalize the 1st letter of your pwd)

So you then reply with your password. You will then receive a message saying :

"Your password is correct! Reply w/ OK to confirm you want to use Twitter with this phone"

After you send a text message replying back with OK, you will then receive a message saying :

" Your password is correct! You're all set up to use Twitter with this phone. Type a Tweet anytime, just send it to this number".

I recommend saving the number into your contacts as "Twitter", so whenever you want to sent out a tweet, just send a text message (the text message it self will be the tweet) to that number.

THAT'S HOW YOU SET UP YOUR PHONE WITH TWITTER!
any questions, leave a comment and I'll try to answer your question !

- xoxo Lorie