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