Greyhound Buses

November 30, 2009

One more thing down…this time, buses to and from Whistler on the 23rd and 24th. The official bus network won’t have times that really fit with our schedule, so we’re going to be using Greyhound. The prices were really quite reasonable: $22 each round trip.

February 23rd
Depart: 8:00 AM - Vancouver Pacific Station
Arrive: 10:30 AM – Whistler Village

February 24th
Depart: 9:00 PM - Whistler Village
Arrive: 11:15 PM – Vancouver Pacific Station

Those departure times should give us plenty of chance to do exploring in and around Whistler. The only knock on this whole endeavour is that Greyhound recommends you get to the station at least 1 hour before departure. That seems a little excessive to me, so we’ll have to phone and find out what the deal is there…


Olympic Bus Network - Open....Kinda....

Well the Olympic Bus Network is actually online now, although you really have to do some hunting around to find it. There doesn’t seem to be a link off the main VANOC site, or the main Ticketing site as of right now. I had to goto the TravelSmart Games-Time section in order to find it.

Regardless...its at:

In a bit of an unannounced twist, they have actually staggered the booking dates by venue. As a result, tickets go on sale according to the following schedule:

Whistler Creekside - November 30th December 4th*
Whistler Sliding Centre - December 4th December 7th*
Whistler Olympic Park - December 7th December 9th*
Cypress Mountain - December 9th December 11th*

As I think we’re going to book our Whistler bus tickets via Greyhound, the only thing we need are Cypress Mountain tickets. Guess that pushes us back to the 9th!

*Edit: I REALLY wish I could edit my own deadlines!


One Year Anniversary

November 28, 2009

Hard to believe that its been an entire year since I first started blogging our trip.  When we first started talking about doing this trip last summer, February 2010 seemed forever away.

Now the Opening Ceremonies are less than 3 months away. I'm so pumped.

Over the last year, we've accomplished alot. With that in mind, allow me to take you down memory road, and look back on the year that was.


November '08
Blog Opening
Sumbittal of Phase I ticket Requests

December '08
First Credit Card Charges
Phase I Tickets Lottery Results
Phase I Exclusive Access Period

January '09
Sorted Out Phase I Money

February '09
VANOC Modifies Olympic Hockey Schedule
One Year to the Games

March '09
Booked the YWCA Hotel

April '09
Booked Our Flights
Added CAN-SWE Women's Hockey Game

May '09
Prepped for Phase II

June '09
Phase II Ticket Sales
Ticket Designs and Official Poster Unveiled

July '09
Curling Draw Announced
Purchased Official Poster

August '09
Team Canada Olympic Orientation Camp

September '09
Visited SLC while on work trip
Got Hockey Jersey/Other Gear for Birthday

October '09
Beth and Jen added to Trip
Olympic Flame Lit in Greece
Seat Assignment Results
Medals Unveiled
Official Olympic Cloting Line Unveiled

November '09
Booked Flights/Hotels for Jen and Beth
Phase III Tickets
Coal Harbour Olympic Rings Unveiled
100 Days to Go Mark
'Road to the Roar' Trials
Booked Aava Hotel in Whistler

As you can see, both by the above list and the number of posts for November, this blog has gotten alot more active over the last six weeks or so. I expect that trend to only intensify as we keep getting closer-and-closer to the games.

76 More Days.....


Google Streetview - Huh?

November 27, 2009

Alright…I don’t quite understand this one. From the Canadian Press:

Google adding 2010 Winter Games to Street View

VANCOUVER – Google is planning to give the world a sneak peek at the venues of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Starting next week, Google will be capturing images in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., for its Street View feature.

The service allows users to search for an address and see a 360-degree view of the street and its surroundings.

Users will be able to virtually visit the Canada Hockey Place, the Richmond Olympic Oval, the Olympic villages, and other sites.

There's no word on when those images will appear online.

Google says it has covered more than 50,000 kilometres of Canadian streets since launching the service in this country last month.

It's available in more than 12 cities, including Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary and Halifax.

Google says it's currently charting 35 cities in all of Canada's provinces and territories except Nunavut.

Now I could have sworn that Google Streetview was already up and running in the Sea-to-Sky corridor. In fact, I could have sworn I did a whole post highlighting the street-views of the Venues.

I’m not quite sure what this story is about then. Maybe they’re gonna break out the Google Trikes?


'Roar of the Rings' - Women's Preview

November 26, 2009

The 2009 ‘Roar of the Rings’ will consist of 8 of the best women’s teams in the world, all vying for the right to represent Canada at our home games in Vancouver. Regardless of who wins, the champion will carry the expectation of Gold. Only in ’98 were these expectiations realized, but at least we’ve never come home empty handed.

The teams who will be looking to add the second gold medal to the Canadian Women’s Trophy Case are:


Team Jones
Home Province: Manitoba
Team: Jennifer Jones, Cathy Overton-Clapham, Jill Officer, Dawn Askin
Resume: 6 Provincial Titles, 3 National Championships, 1 World Championship
Current CCA Ranking: 2nd

Widely regarded as the top Women’s team in the world, Jennifer Jones goes into the ‘Roar’ as the probable favourite. 5 straight Scotties appearances, with three victories and a world championship along the way will do that for you. Jones qualified in a number of ways, but the first was the as the winners of 2006–07 Players' Championship.

At the ‘Roar’ Jones will look to have a much better showing than the 2006 Trials where she finished a dissapointing 5-4, missing the playoffs. This time around, Jones can almost certainly be counted on at least play into the weekend, and obviously anything short of victory would be a disappointment for her.

Second Jill Officer can be found on twitter @jillofficer


Team Kleibrink
Home Province: Alberta
Team: Shannon Kleibrink, Amy Nixon, Bronwen Webster, Chelsey Bell
Resume: 3 Provincial Titles, 2006 Olympic Trials Winner, 2006 Olympic Bronze Medal
Current CCA Ranking: 1st

Team Kliebrink enters the ‘Roar’ with history on their side. In 2006, Kliebrink went through the round robin at 6-3, before taking it all by knocking off Kelly Scott in the finals where she took 3 in the 10th for a 8-7 come-from-behind win.

The 2006 Trials winner will come to Edmonton looking for a repeat win, and a chance to improve on her Bronze Medal from Turin.

Kleibrink first qualified as a result of her CTRS point total from 2006–07 to 2008–09.

In some ways, Kleibrink comes in as an undeserving underdog. She is the reigning champion of this event, and ranked #1 by the CCA. Despite these facts however, Jennifer Jones will still undoubtably be given the ‘favourite’ label.

Vice Amy Nixon can be found on twitter @amy_nixon


Team Bernard
Home Province: Alberta
Team: Cheryl Bernard, Susan O'Connor, Carolyn Darbyshire, Cori Bartel
Resume: 4 Provincial Titles
Current CCA Ranking: 4th

Cheryl Bernard comes to Edmonton as one of a number of local Alberta rinks. It must be highly frustrating to be a curler in Alberta, having to defeat world-class competition to just get out of your province. Most countries would kill for even one of the these teams. But I digress…

Team Bernard enters the ‘Roar’ as a direct qualifier, based off their CTRS points total from 2007-08 to 2008-09. Prediciting a finish for Bernard is somewhat difficult, just because I can seem them at either end of the spectrum. I could see them in the finals, or I can seem them finishing the week with a quiet 2-7 record. The truth is probably somewhere in between, with Bernard being a fringe playoff team.


Team Lawton
Home Province: Saskatchewan
Team: Stefanie Lawton, Marliese Kasner, Sherri Singler, Lana Vey
Resume: 2 Provincial Titles
Current CCA Ranking: 5th

At the 2006 Trials, Stefanie Lawton was a bit of a surprise…going 6-3 through the round robin at only 25 years old. After defeating Ontario’s Sherry Middaugh in a tiebreaker, Lawton fell to eventual champion Kliebrink in the Semi’s. She’ll look to take it all the way this time.

Since that run in 2006, Lawton has struggled a bit, undergoing lineup changes and facing stiff competition in her home province of Saskatchewan. She made her return to the Scotties last year however, making the playoffs before losing to Jones in the 3-4 game.

Lawton enters as a result of her CTRS points total from 2007-08 to 2008-09.


Team Webster
Home Province: Alberta
Team: Crystal Webster, Lori Olson-Johns, Sam Preston, Stephanie Malekoff
Resume: No Provincial Championships
Current CCA Ranking: 11th

Yet another team from Alberta, Webster is the first of the entrants who qualified via the ‘Road to the Roar’. In that competition, she tore through the ‘A’ Side with four straight victories over Holland, Middaugh, Homan and Scott.

Although there is no doubting that she enters as a team on a roll, the depth of competition at the ‘Roar’ will be stiffer than that at the ‘Road’. It will be interesting to see if Webster will be able to continue her streak from Prince George, or if she’ll fall to the favourites such as Jones and Kliebrink.

Personally, I think she’ll be in tough to make the playoffs…but I do recall being proven wrong three weeks ago at the ‘Road’….


Team Scott
Home Province: British Columbia
Team: Kelly Scott, Jeanna Schraeder, Sasha Carter, Jacquie Armstrong
Resume: 5 Provincial Titles, 2 National Titles, 1 World Championship
Current CCA Ranking: 6th

There is no doubt that through the middle section of the decade, Kelly Scott was the top women’s team in the world. 5 Scotties appearances from ’03-’08 and wins in ’06 and ’07 are pretty hard to argue with. Throw in the follow-up World Championshop from ’07, and you have a world-class resume…one capable of winning gold in 2010.

And not one bit of that makes me want to be our representative in Vancouver. I don’t know what it is, but I just cannot stand watching this team on TV. The ‘Roar’ will pretty much be an ‘anybody but Kelly Scott’ event for me. Uggghh….

Scott almost joined Gushue in the upset column at the ‘Road to the Roar’, losing both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ finals before finally defeating Sherry Middaugh in the ‘C1’ Final. Add that to her fall to the #6 ranking spot on the CCA Chart, andvthe fact that she failed to qualify for the ’09 Scotties, and Scott limps into this event pretty badly. She’ll have to turn it around very quickly if she’s going to have a chance to go to the Olympics in her home province of BC.


Team McCarville
Home Province: Ontario
Team: Krista McCarville, Tara George, Kari MacLean, Lorraine Lang
Resume: 3 Provincial Titles
Current CCA Ranking: 14th

Well, at least there is one team from east of Manitoba...

McCarville will enter the team as the junior entry on the competition at only 27 years old. Despite that age, she has three Ontario Championships to her name already (2006, 2007, 2009), having faired decently at each of them…if not making the playoffs. McCarville qualified by defeating Kelly Scott in the ‘B’ Finals of the ‘Road to the Roar’, after having run the bracket. Along the way she also topped Rankin, Homan and Holland.

Probably a bit of an underdog to see the playoffs, she should probably be at best considered an upset special.


Team Holland
Home Province: Saskatchewan
Team: Amber Holland, Kim Schneider, Tammy Schneider, Heather Seeley
Resume: No Provincial Championships
Current CCA Ranking: 16th

Amber Holland is a bit of an enigma, with not much exposure on the national scene as a result of the depth of talent in Saskatchewan. As with Webster, Team Holland enters with no Scotties appearances to their credit.

Holland qualifies after taking out Larouche in the ‘C2’ finals of the ‘Road to the Roar’. That being said, I’d be pretty surprised to see her in any finals this time around.

Roar of the Rings Overview
Men's Preview
Draw and Standings


'Roar of the Rings' - Draw and Standings

The draw for the 'Roar of the Rings' extends from Sunday, December 6th through to Thursday, December 10th. Each side will play a 7-Draw Round-Robin, with the Men's and Women's side alternating start times.

The draw and updated standings can be found below...switch between the standings and various draw sheets via the tabs at the bottom. Times are given in Eastern.

Roar of the Rings Overview
Women's Preview
Men's Preview


'Roar of the Rings' - Overview

Starting on Sunday December 6th, what I think is the biggest curling tournament in Canadian history will kick off at Rexall Place in Edmonton, AB. The 2009 ‘Roar of the Rings’ will feature 8 women’s and 8 men’s team vying for the rights to represent Canada at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

The winners will be blessed with the opportunity to represent Canada, yet simultaneously cursed with expectation. Like hockey, anything short of Gold from our Men’s and Women’s teams will certainly be viewed as a disappointment, only to be magnified by the fact that these are a ‘home games’. Come February, the eyes of a country will follow our eight representatives over the course of the round robin games, and hopefully through to the Gold Medal Game.

It’s for the right to undergo this journey that the best teams Canada has to offer will gather starting next week…

Thankfully, the ‘Roar of the Rings’ itself will undertake a much simplier process than the qualification rounds leading up to it did. If you need an example of the complexity of qualification, just check out the ‘Road to the Roar’ tournament bracket. Yeesh.

On both the men’s and women’s side, teams start off with a round-robin, after which the Top-3 teams advance to the playoffs. The top team from the round-robin advances directly to the final, with Teams 2 and 3 playing in a semi-final. The winner of the final gets to wear the Maple Leaf. Couldn’t be simplier.

In the event that there is a tie in the standings for the final playoff berths after the round-robin, tiebreak games will be played…

Qualified Teams
The list of potential Olympic teams is impressive to say the least. Most other countries would be extactic to have even one team of this calibire represent them. We are lucky enough to have our pick. If able to, we’d me more than capable of sweeping the podium on both sides.

Glenn Howard
Kevin Martin
Kevin Koe
Randy Ferbey
Jeff Stoughton
Pat Simmons
Jason Gunnlaugson
Wayne Middaugh

Jennifer Jones
Shannon Kleibrink
Cheryl Bernard
Stefanie Lawton
Crystal Webster
Krista McCarville
Kelly Scott
Amber Holland

Over the next couple of days, I’ll be doing a team-by-team preview of each team. Be sure to check out the Men’s Preview and the Women’s Preview.

Draw, Standings and TV
Similar to the ‘Road to the Roar’, I will be tracking the results of the week. For the sake of clarity, this has been broken out into a separate post, which of course you can check out right here.

TSN will be broadcasting the event the whole way through. The majority of coverage will be on the TSN main network, with the exception of the Dec. 6th and Dec. 7th evening draws….which will be on TSN2. The big ones to watch out for are of course the finals:
Women’s – December 12th – 8:00 PM ET
Men’s – December 13th – 3:00 PM ET

Link List
A few other items to pass along, mainly pages that are way more official than I am:
CCA Official Event Site
Event Preview Magazine


Phase III - Random Additions

Was over on, and it was posted on the message board that there are a few more tickets up on the official site for sale. Very strange with no announcement.

Anyways, as of right now, there are tickets up for:
SS002 - W 3000m
SS003 - M 500m
SB002 - Women's Snowboard Cross
SS004 - W 500m
SS005 - M 1000m
SS006 - W 1000m
FS005 - Ice Dance Compulsory
FR006 - Women's Ski Cross
SS009 - M 10,000m
SS010 - L 5,000m
SB005 - Women's PGS
SS011 - Team Pursuit Qualification
ZC001 - Closing Ceremony

Thats in addition to the preliminary curling/hockey tickets that were already up there.

Guess they found more seating at the Richmond Oval eh?


Vectorial Vancouver

November 25, 2009

I’m not normally one of large scale public art, but one just announced today for Vancouver 2010 seems rather exciting. Called Vectorial Vancouver, a series of high-powered searchlights will be positioned astride False Creek and English Bay, providing a light show each night over downtown.

It all sounds very cool actually...

Rendering of False Creek/English Bay

From the press release:
Starting at dusk on February 4, 2010, 20 robotic searchlights will create a quiet canopy of light in the night sky above and on the sparkling surface of English Bay below with designs created by people around the world and delivered via the Internet. Called Vectorial Elevation, it is the first time the internationally celebrated work of art will be displayed in Canada and over a body of water.

The 10,000-watt lights will move and create patterns silently from locations in Vanier Park and Sunset Beach that cover an area of 100,000 square metres and be visible within 15 kilometres of the city’s downtown core, stretching to Richmond, the peaks of Cypress and Grouse mountains and freighters and boats on the water.

The coolest part is that apparently the sequence of the show will be designed by 130,000 members of the public. Again from the release:

Visitors to can design how the lights will move, their angles and how they are clustered in timed sequences to create their own patterns for the world to see. A personalized webpage will be automatically created for each participant to document their design. Organizers estimate 130,000 different patterns will be created in the 24 days the project operates from dusk to dawn.

I don’t think the links to create the show are actually up yet, but I’ll probably check it out once they are.

Special stuff like this really will make Vancouver more of a party zone and celebration site during the games. Hopefully there are similar things to come!

Installation Location

Previous Installation in Mexico


Olympic Bus Network - Delayed

November 24, 2009

So today was the day the Olympic Bus Network Tickets were to go on sale….however it would seem that VANOC has run into another delay. When I went onto the official site hunting for the link to purchase tickets, I noticed this:

An online booking service will be available as of November 30, 2009. If you are a ticket holder, you will be notified by email when it is available and the link to the site will also be posted here.

Rather sneaky bit of pool there….the day that the tickets are going to go on sale, you edit the website to say that they go up next Monday?? It really doesn’t impact us at all, getting tickets on Monday is just as good as getting them today, its just a little annoying paired with the other delays that seem to be happening (Phase III Opening, Fan-to-Fan Marketplace).

I wish I could extend my own deadlines retroactively:)


My Olympic Gear!

November 22, 2009

I have recently acquired some Olympic gear from Scott's parents. I've got my Olympic gloves and my Olympic sweater, I'm good to go!
I really like the CANADA across the back of the sweater! It will look fantastic in Whistler!


Joannie Rochette Wins Skate Canada

November 21, 2009

After an astounding short program and an even better long, Joannie Rochette has won gold at the 2009 Skate Canada International today.

Upon completion of her short program yesterday, she received the best marks of her career, 70 points. Her previous best was 67.90, when she won the silver medal at the world figure skating championships last season in Los Angeles. (Kim Yu-Na of South Korea has the world-record short-program score of 76.28, set last week at Skate America.)

Here is Joannie's fantastic short program:

Patrick Chan has finished in a disappointing 6th place after falling 3 times during his long program.

Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison won bronze after Dube singled a side by side triple salchow.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are currently sitting in first place with the Free Dance still tomorrow. I'm actually kind of shocked that they are in first because Tessa does slip and fall at 1:18 AND 1:29!!


Figure Skating - Ice Dance

November 20, 2009

I am fairly biased here, but I really am not a fan of Ice Dancing. Now that you know that, here's a little bit about some ice dancing I enjoy watching. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir... ready for the facts?

She is 20 he is 22 and they are both from London, ON. They are the 2 time Canadian Champions (they were 2nd in 2006, they were 1st at Trophee Eric Bompard 2009, 2nd at 4 Continents Championships in 2008 and 3rd in the World in 2008. What I enjoy about them, is they have fun on the ice and they have tricks, most ice dancers don't have tricks and they keep it safe.

Here's a video of them performing at Festa On Ice show in South Korea:

Those South Koreans sure seem to love them, and you should too!!


Tickets - Whats Left

November 19, 2009

So, now that Phase III has kicked off…I think VANOC has to be pretty happy with the interest in tickets sales. As of today (Nov. 19th), out of the hundreds of sessions available, tickets are currently only available for 21 sport sessions, and 7 Victory Ceremonies. The majority of what is left is either preliminary curling or hockey.

A few more things will certainly pop up as available on the Fan-to-Fan Marketplace (PS…open that up already…but its certainly good progress.

Considering most of these sessions that are available are still probably 75% or better sold I’m sure, we can’t be far off a ‘sold out’ Olympics:

CU004 - Women's Qualification
CU005 - Men's Qualification
CU006 - Women's Qualification
CU008 - Women's Qualification
CU010 - Women's Qualification
CU013 - Men's Qualification
CU014 - Women's Qualification
CU018 - Women's Qualification
CU021 - Men's Qualification
CU022 - Women's Qualification

IH010 - Women's FIN-CHN
IH012 - Men's FIN-BLR
IH015 - Women's SVK-SWE
IH016 - Men's CZE-SVK
IH020 - Women's CHN-RUS
IH022 - Men's BLR-SWE
IH023 - Men's CZE-LAT
IH024 - Men's FIN-GER
IH027 - Men's LAT-SVK
IH029 - Men's GER-BLR
IH033 - Women's Semi-Final 1

VC002 - Day 4 Victory Ceremony
VC003 - Day 5 Victory Ceremony
VC004 - Day 6 Victory Ceremony
VC005 - Day 7 Victory Ceremony
VC007 - Day 9 Victory Ceremony
VC009 - Day 12 Victory Ceremony
VC010 - Day 13 Victory ceremony


'Follow the Torch' -

November 18, 2009

Can’t believe I didn’t see this before now, but you can follow the Torch Relay live on

In a very cool move, they’ve rigged a streaming webcam to the back of the lead vehicle, showing the torch-bearers and crowds as the relay progresses. There is also a couple chat windows and a map showing the location of the torch as the relay progresses via GPS.

The highlight of today will be about 5:30 EST, when Sidney Crosby will take the torch.

Check It Out

Also, a little bit on the technology:

When Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium and CTV News began planning their coverage of the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, the question (a challenge, really) was: "How do we cover the relay every step of the way, live?"

There was a lot of shaking of heads. "Can't be done," some said. "Beyond our technological reach," said others. Current satellite trucks cannot transmit while moving and the cost of transmission 10 hours a day for more than 100 days would be astronomical.

Then someone suggested calling Toronto breaking news channel CP24, which had started experimenting with a new video transmission technology developed by Waterloo-based, Dejero Inc.

CP24 was sending back live reports from their news vans and going live from Toronto street cars using a box the size of a suitcase. Inside the black box (literally) is a maze of wires, circuit boards and processors that takes video from a camera, encodes it and sends it back to the station using cellphone carrier networks or Wi-Fi hotspots.

The result is near-broadcast quality video thanks to the magic of the software and the hardware configuration that's able to combine several cellphone network frequencies and any available Wi-Fi bandwidth to produce a high-quality picture.


Whistler Mountain - Aava Hotel

November 17, 2009

I know I literally JUST posted about Whistler, but Scott and I were watching a video on the CTV website about the Olympics coming to Whistler and guess what... the hotel we are staying at is featured in the video! What's super neat is that this video is from today and the manager actually says "we only have 4 rooms left during the Olympics". Well now he can make that 3 since we booked there TODAY! So strange!!

Here's that video, it does have some hotel room shots in it!!:

CTV Whistler Mountain Video


Whistler in 20 Pictures or Less

Now that Scott has booked our hotel in Whistler (yeay!) it's official and I can be excited about it! So while I was at work, "working", I got looking around the internets and came across many beautiful pictures of Whistler! So many in fact, that Scott said the only way I was allowed to post all of them in the blog was if he could make them into a slideshow. Ahem...


Ticket Summary

Ticket Recap

Pam and Scott
Day 2 – IH002 - Women's Hockey - Canada v. Slovakia
Day 3 - FR002 – Men’s Moguls
Day 4 - SB001 – Men’s SBX
Day 5 - IH007 – Men's Hockey – USA v. Switzerland
Day 5 - IH009 – Men's Hockey – Canada v. Norway
Day 6 - IH013 – Women's Hockey – Canada v. Sweden
Day 7 - IH017 – Men's Hockey – USA v. Norway
Day 7 - IH019 – Men's Hockey – Canada v. Switzerland
Day 8 - CU012 – Women’s Qualification
Day 9 - ST003 – Short Track W1500m/M1000m
Day 10 - IH030 – Men's Hockey – Russia v. Czech Republic
Day 10 - IH031 – Men's Hockey – Canada v. USA
Day 10 - VC008 – Day 10 Victory Ceremony
Day 11 - CU019 – Men’s Qualification
Day 11 - CU020 – Women’s Qualification
Day 12 - BS003 – Women’s Bobsled Qualification
Day 13 - No Events - Snowboarding in Whistler
Day 14 - IH046 – Women’s Gold Medal
Day 15 - CU031 – Women’s Gold Medal
Day 16 - SS012 – Team Pursuit Finals
Day 16 - CU033 – Men’s Gold Medal

Ben and Andrea
Day 2 – IH002 - Women's Hockey - Canada v. Slovakia
Day 3 - FR002 – Men’s Moguls
Day 4 - SB001 – Men’s SBX
Day 5 - IH007 – Men's Hockey – USA v. Switzerland
Day 5 - IH009 – Men's Hockey – Canada v. Norway
Day 6 - SB003 – Men’s Halfpipe
Day 7 - IH017 – Men's Hockey – USA v. Norway
Day 7 - IH019 – Men's Hockey – Canada v. Switzerland
Day 8 - CU012 – Women’s Qualification
Day 9 - ST003 – Short Track W1500m/M1000m
Day 10 - IH030 – Men's Hockey – Russia v. Czech Republic
Day 10 - IH031 – Men's Hockey – Canada v. USA
Day 10 - VC008 – Day 10 Victory Ceremony
Day 11 - FR005 – Men’s Aerials

Jen and Beth
Day 10 - VC008 – Day 10 Victory Ceremony
Day 11 - CU019 – Men’s Qualification
Day 11 - CU020 – Women’s Qualification
Day 12 - BS003 – Women’s Bobsled Qualification*
Day 13 - No Events - Snowboarding in Whistler
Day 14 - IH046 – Women’s Gold Medal
Day 15 - CU031 – Women’s Gold Medal
Day 16 - SB006 – Men’s PGS
Day 16 - FS010 – Figure Skating Gala

Seat Assignments

Ticketing Schedule


Whistler Here We Come!

I don’t know how we keep doing it, but we keep lucking out.

The latest episode…finding a hotel in Whistler for one night, and at a reasonable price. This late in the game, it’s a miracle to find ANY availability, let alone what we were able to turn up.

Via Travelocity, I was able to get us one night at the Aava Whistler Hotel for the somewhat reasonable price of $260 + tax. That’s still a lot, but considering I was only able to find 2 other rooms, and they were $550 and $650 respectively…I’ll take it and run!

Now it’s 100% that we will be going up on the 23rd, see the bobsled, have a few drinks, stay over, before snowboarding/skiing on the 24th! I can’t wait to just get into Whistler at all, let alone have a chance to get up on the mountain and see bobsled. Just another one of the million things that I’m looking forward to!

Beth says this picture gives her the tinglys!

The best part about this hotel find is that its right in the middle of everything….just like the YWCA is in Vancouver.

Whistler has 6 different Live! Sites going on during the games. Activities are as follows:

Village Common
• Whistler Live! studio headquarters
• Interviews & commentary
• Digital media arts
• 360-degree viewable studio

Skiers Plaza
• CTV sport broadcast
• Nightly Fire & Ice
• DJs
• Street performers
• Mountain canvas art show

Mountain Square
• CTV sport broadcast studio
• 22 hours/day

Village Square
• CTV sport broadcast
• Live music
• Digital arts
• Street performers

Town Plaza
• CTV sport broadcast
• Live music
• Digital arts
• Street performers

Whistler Medals Plaza
• Nightly Victory Ceremonies including national & international headlining concerts
• Paralympic Closing Ceremonies

Mapped out below, you can see how close we are to the action:

View Whistler 2010 in a larger map


Olympic Training

November 16, 2009

Came across a pretty interesting video from, showing some of the training activities of US Athletes:

Couple of observations:

- Pretty sure the splashpool and sliding track are from Lake Placid.

- Nothing makes great Curling ice like having Short Track Speed Skaters train on it.

- I wish I could wander around all day on my roller blade skis….sniper rifle slung over my shoulder...

- Couple of really good camera angles for Ski-Jumping that highlight how its almost more like falling off a cliff than it is making a horizontal jump.


Phase III Tickets - Lucky!

November 15, 2009

So, yesterday VANOC pulled off a delayed Phase III sell-off. As with Phase II, I must have a horseshoe and rabbits foot stuffed somewhere I don't know about, as we totally lucked out.

Although it wasn't the <5 Mins entry of Phase II, one of my multiple browsers hit about 20 minutes in. Thats pretty good as there are multiple stories of people not getting in for upwards of 6 hours, by which time things were mighty picked over. When I tried to get back in after the initial entry, it took me almost three hours to repeat.

I think that given the problems of last week, maybe VANOC wasn't letting as many people onto the site as they were even at the start of Phase III.

Anyways, onto the heart of the matter...what we got. With Jen and Beth on their way out there, the priority was to get them tickets to some of the events that Pam and I already have tickets for. We managed quite well:

VC008 - 2 GA - Day 10 Victory Ceremony
CU019 - 4 A - Men's Curling (CAN v. USA)
IH046 - 2 A - Women's Gold Medal Hockey
CU031 - 2 A - Women's Gold Medal Curling
SB006 - 2 A - Men's Parallel Giant Slalom Snowboarding
FS010 - 2 C - Figure Skating Gala

As mentioned, most of those are for Jen and Beth, with the exception of the two extra tickets to the CU019 session, which are for Pam and I. As with Phase II, the abundance of good tickets means that we went a little over the budget that was planned, so we'll work that out.

I think we totally lucked out, getting 'Prime' events such as the Figure Skating Gala and the Women's Gold Medal Hockey. This allotment now means that they now have events or plans on every day of their trip....not bad considering we just started putting stuff together for them a couple of weeks ago.

The only thing to do make it complete...its to get two more tickets to the Bobsled Pam and I have up in Whistler, and maybe tickets to the next day's Whistler Victory Ceremony. Hopefully we'll be able to pick those up on the 'Fan Marketplace'...


'Road to the Roar' - Final Wrap-up

So after 5 days of curling, we now know who the eight teams moving onto Edmonton will be:

Men's A - Stoughton
Men's B - Simmons
Men's C1 - Gunnlaughson
Men's C2 - Middaugh

Women's A - Webster
Women's B - McCarville
Women's C1 - Scott
Women's C2 - Holland

Again, the biggest story from the week was Brad Gushue not making in through. I suppose that it really demonstrates the depth of curling talent in this country when the Gold Medalist from just 4 years ago can't even make it into the Top 8 this time.

On the flip side, Kelly Scott teased me by losing the 'A' and 'B' finals. She was 'this' close to not making in's hoping someone can knock her off at the 'Roar'....

Final Tournament Bracket


'Road to the Roar' - Saturday Morning

November 14, 2009

Well, it would seem that there will be no repeat. In what can safely be called a shocker, Gushue won’t advance to the ‘Roar of the Rings’ in December, having lost Menard last night. Its really too bad, as I would have at least like to have seen him in Edmonton…he’s one of the Top 8 teams, so it’s a bit of a shame he won’t be there.

Anyways, yesterday saw Pat Simmons rebound from his ‘A’ Final loss on the ‘B’ side, defeating McEwen. On the women’s side, Kelly Scott made it 0-2 in the finals, losing to Ontario’s McCarville. She now drops down to the ‘C’ Side….I can only hope she makes it 0-3 today against Sherry Middaugh. Unlike Gushue, I’d be a very happy camper if Kelly Scott didn’t make it to Edmonton.

Aside from the Middaugh/Scott Final, today is the last chance for the other teams to get through. The other Women’s ‘C’ Final has Larouche v.Holland. The men’s sees the upstart Gunnlaughson v. McEwen, and Ursel v. the winner of Middaugh/Menard. Should be a good day of curling!

Tournament Bracket is here...


2002 Olympic Quarter

November 13, 2009

Found this in my change today...the new quarter celebrating Canada's 2002 Gold Medal win.

I wonder what they'd break out if Canada wins in 2010?


'Road to the Roar' - Thursday

Over the course of yesterday, the two ‘A’ Finals played themselves out, with Stoughton and Webster punching their tickets to Edmonton. Webster defeated Kelly Scott 9-7, off the strength of a 4 Point first end. It took Stoughton 11 to get past Pat Simmons, after a key steal of 1 in the 9th.

Men’s Side
So Stoughton is through, dropping Simmons into the ‘B’ Side, which will finish up today. Appleman/McEwen and Simmons/Middaugh make up the two semi-finals, with 1 berth on the line. I like whoever carries the Simmons/Middaugh Semi to take the Final tonight. Regardless, all three of the losers from this mini-bracket have one more chance left, as they will filter down to the ‘C’ Side after their losses.

Jeff Stoughton is moving on...

Speaking of the ‘C’ Side…that’s where 2006 Gold Medalist Brad Gushue finds himself after a disappointing loss to Appleman yesterday afternoon. With two strikes against him, he will need to roll off three straight wins in order to get to Edmonton. Another stumble, and there will be no repeat in Vancouver. The road through will not be easy for Gushue, as he faces Menard this morning then, pending a win, the loser of the aforementioned Simmons/Middaugh matchup.

It’s a bit disappointing that Gushue and Menard line up on the ‘C’ Side, with the loser going home. Both of these teams are solid enough to warrant inclusion in the ‘Roar of the Rings’, but only one…and maybe neither…will be there.

Women’s Side
The news of the day would probably still have to be Crystal Webster’s defeat of Kelly Scott in the ‘A’ Final. I suppose that its evidence that a hot team can do just about anything. Webster managed to win 4 in a row to get through to the ‘Roar of the Rings’, passing Holland, Middaugh, Homan and Kelly on the way.

Webster over Kelly for the 'A' Side

As a result of her loss, Kelly dropped onto the B-Side, but quickly rebounded with a semi-final win over Larouche last night. That sets up a ‘B’ Side final this afternoon between herself and Ontario’s Krista McCarville. After an opening round loss to Cathy King, McCarville has won three straight coming through the ‘B’ Side, so Kelly will again have to watch for a team on a roll.

The ‘C’ Side is populated by a number of teams down to their last chances. Rankin, Middaugh, Larouche, Homan, Anderson, King and Holland are all fighting for those two last births. By the end of today, 4 of those teams will be headed home.

Official Event Site
Tournament Bracket


'Road to the Roar' - Mid-Week Update

November 12, 2009

So the ‘Road to the Roar’ is approaching the halfway mark, and is ready to award its first ‘Roar of the Rings’ births today.

The Women’s side has seen a fair number of upsets take place over the first two days, including both Larouche and Sherry Middaugh losing their quarter-final matchups. That has created an interesting B and C bracket, where some sides are somewhat ‘weak’, and others have top-seeds going head-to-head in an effort to stay alive. A good example is the bottom half of the B bracket, which had King, Englot, Larouche and Middaugh all fighting for one birth in the B Finals….and even that road leads through the A final loser.

Speaking of which, this afternoon’s A Final sees Kelly Scott go up against Crystal Webster. Kelly Scott is no surprise to be in the finals here, but the same can’t be said of Webster…a relative unknown. I’d obviously go with the favourite in this one, but Webster managed to get past Sherry Middaugh…so who knows. The winner moves onto Edmonton, with the loser dropping down to the B Side. They will play the winner of the Larouche/King matchup for a birth in the B Finals.

There have been two eliminations going into Thursday: Englot and Belise.

Things on the Men’s Side have gone a little bit more to form. The biggest surprise will be the presence of Pat Simmons in tonights A Final (v. Stoughton). Simmons is a better team than his #10 ranking may suggest, but he’s travelled a tough road, beating Menard, Middaugh and Gushue to get this far. For those keeping track, those defeated teams combine for 3 Briers, 2 World Championships and an Olympic Gold Medal.

I’d again pick Stoughton tonight, but I’d like to see Simmons get through as well. The loser will drop onto the B-Side and play the winner of the Middaugh/Ursel matchup.

There have been no eliminations on the Men’s side as of yet, but Gunnlaugson, Jordison, Burtynk and McAulay are all down to their final loss. These 4 teams will duke it out for one spot on the C1 Final…the rest will be going home!

Be sure to check out the tournament bracket, being updated here.


'Road to the Roar' - Tournament Bracket

November 9, 2009

Alright, so I lied. I will be updating a tournament bracket. Hit the tabs at the bottom to switch between the Men's and the Women's.

Advancing Teams:
Men's A - Stoughton
Men's B - Simmons
Men's C1 - Gunnlaughson
Men's C2 - Middaugh

Women's A - Webster
Women's B - McCarville
Women's C1 - Scott
Women's C2 - Holland


'Road to the Roar'

Starting this week is the ‘2010 Road to the Roar’ Olympic Curling Pre-Qualifier. Or, in layman’s terms, the tournament that will determine which 4 teams will round out the field at the Canadian Olympic Trials in December.

It’s certainly quite the approach that the CCA is using to determine our Men’s and Women’s Olympic Representatives. Trying to explain it all in detail would give me a headache, but the Coles Notes version sees:

  • The Top 4 ranked teams proceed directly to the ‘Roar of the Rings’.
  • The next 12 are placed in the ‘Road to the Roar’ event, a triple-knockout playdown.
  • At the ‘Road to the Roar’ the Top 4 teams in THAT event (Ranked 5-8 overall) get a bye past the first round.
  • They then meet the winners of the 5-12 games (or the 8 to 16 overall teams), proceeding through the triple-knockout bracket.
  • From the ‘Road to the Roar’, 4 teams advance to join the previously qualified 4 teams at the ‘Roar of the Rings’.
Got all that? No? Don't blame you.....Cause its flippin’ retarded…don’t even get me started on how the teams were ranked in the first place.

Adding to the logistical nightmares, by the time this process plays itself out, the Curling teams will be the named a scant 2 months before the games begin. As of right now, that means you have 32 possible teams x 4 athletes each = 128 potential Olympians. Of that 128, 8 will go…for a rate of 6.25%.

All this was implemented ostensibly to ensure that the ‘best’ team from Canada is given the opportunity to represent us. However, if you look back at the historical winners (’98 Mike Harris, ’06 Gushue, ’06 Kleibrink), any team can win this on any given day. It’s really a crapshoot.

I guess the good news in this long drawn-out process is that at least there will be a tonne of meaningful curling on TV. For the ‘Road to the Roar’, TSN will have the following:

3:30 EST – Women’s A Final
9:30 EST – Men’s A Final

4:00 EST – Women’s B Final
9:30 EST – Men’s B Final

1:00 EST – Men’s/Women’s C1 Final
8:00 EST – Men’s/Women’s C2 Final

For those of you unfamiliar with the way knockout tournaments work, for each of those finals, the winner will qualify for the ‘Roar of the Rings’, with the loser either playing on, or being out in the case of the Saturday Finals.

Going in, the qualifiers on the Men’s side are:

‘Roar of the Rings’ Qualified:
Kevin Martin
Glenn Howard
Kevin Koe
Randy Ferbey

‘Road to the Roar’ Qualified:
Kerry Burtnyk
Pat Simmons
Jeff Stoughton
Wayne Middaugh
Brad Gushue
Mike McEwen
Joel Jordison
Bob Ursel
Jean-Michel Menard
Ted Appelman
Greg McAulay
Jason Gunnlaugson

If you asked me to make my call right now, I’d say my 4 picks to get out of the ‘Road’ are Gushue, Menard, Stoughton and Ursel. Overall, its probably down to Howard or Martin as the favorites to take the Maple Leaf into Vancouver.

I suppose I’m happy whoever it is, as long as they win gold….but through this whole process….I think my mantra will be ‘Anybody But Ferbey’. Can’t stand that guy….

On the women’s side:

‘Roar of the Rings’ Qualified:
Jennifer Jones
Shannon Kleibrink
Cheryl Bernard
Stefanie Lawton

‘Road to the Roar’ Qualified:
Kelly Scott
Sherry Anderson
Amber Holland
Sherry Middaugh
Marie-France Larouche
Michelle Englot
Heather Rankin
Krista McCarville
Cathy King
Eve Belisle
Crystal Webster

The women’s side is a bit tougher call in terms of who I think will get out…the field is much more wide open compared to the men’s. On the spot, I’d say Scott, Middaugh, King and McCarville move on. Overall, I’m hoping for Jennifer Jones, but any of the ‘Pre-Qualified’ teams I’m OK with. As on the Men’s Side…It's more about who I don't want there than who I do.....Here, I’m adopting the tagline ‘Anybody But Kelly Scott’…

Although I’ll be keeping up with this over the week, I’m not going to attempt to reproduce the tournament bracket. Consequently, I suggest you follow along at the following links:
Official Site
Men's Bracket
Women's Bracket


Phase III - Whoops!

So, Saturday was intended as the start of the Phase III Ticket period…..

We (Jen, Beth and I) were all set...Jen had swung over to the condo, we had two laptops all ready, multiple browsers...the whole she-bang. Of course, it was all for naught, as VANOC and screwed the whole thing up. According to the post-fiasco press release:, the Official ticket service provider for Vancouver 2010, experienced difficulties with the configuration between the virtual waiting room and the ticketing transaction site.
In other words, they didn’t get the virtual waiting room up….so everyone went right to the site...crashing the whole thing. Not sure how many people tried to get on Saturday, but I know that when Phase II was opening up, the website was getting 1500 hits/second. That’s a whole lot of web traffic…..anyways, apparently about 300 tickets were sold via the call-centre, but they’re going to be replaced from the sponsor/media pool of tickets….so at least no tickets were stolen out from under us.

At one point, we were able to get into a broken down version of the site and at least see what was available. There should be some good tickets if we can get to them, I noticed that the USA-CAN Men’s Hockey Game, the Figure Skating Gala and the CAN-USA Curling were all available. I’m sure there are more ‘good’ events as well, that’s only what I remember.

Anyways, as a result of everything, Phase III has been pushed back to this upcoming Saturday, when we’ll give it another shot.


Coal Harbour Olympic Rings

November 5, 2009

Just a quick follow up on the 100 Days post....a video of the Rings lighting....


100 Days to Go!!

Onto the final stretch!

As of yesterday, there are a scant 100 days to go until the Games start. I’m trying to not really get too ‘into the mood’ until things get closer….100 days is still a long time to draw out anticipation. But it’s a big milestone, with a few notable unveilings that were attached to it….

Coal Harbour Olympic Rings

Yesterday VANOC floated out a second set of the large LED Olympic Rings into Coal Harbour. These rings are basically the twin of the set placed at Vancouver Airport about a year ago.

According to press, the location was chosen for a few different reasons including placing them against the skyline as a backdrop, their proximity to the media centre, and of course, by the need to ‘protect’ them from protesters. Pretty hard to access something in the middle of the harbour.

This second set of rings are supposedly going to feature in a light-show whenever Canada wins a medal.

Overall I like them, and their placement. We have to take a fair number of ferry trips across the harbour to get to the Whistler/Cypress transportation hub, so hopefully we’ll be able to see them somewhat up close.

Also yesterday, got a large overhaul. I don’t like it quite as much as the VANOC web overhaul, or still as much as, but its still pretty good.

Biggest Con is the regional restrictions on viewing videos (ongoing pet peeve). Biggest Pro is the mobile alerts and widgets offered. I really hope that closer to the games CTV, VANOC or anyone ‘Canadian’ will offer up similar features.


USA Team Uniforms

November 4, 2009

The USA has apparently unveiled their uniforms for the Games. I gotta say that I'm 100% not a fan....looks like they've just come in off the yacht for tea......


Oh....I just found a full-body shot.....the white pants and boots? BRUTAL...

At least the medal ceremony jackets (left) aren't horrible.....but wow....just wow on those Opening Ceremony uniforms (centre)


Men's Hockey Roster Announcement Dates

Little ways off still, but here is the dates that each Nation will be announcing their Men’s Hockey Rosters. In chronological order:

Belarus: December 23
Russia: December 25
Sweden: December 27
Latvia: December 29
Norway: December 29
Slovakia: December 29
Czech Republic: December 30
Finland: December 30
Germany: December 30
Switzerland: December 30
Canada: December 31 December 30
USA: January 1

The Canadian announcement will be integrated with the WJC Tourney in Saskatchewan no doubt, and the USA announcement will be part of the NHL Winter Classic.


Beth and Jen - More Flights, More Trains, More Hotels

November 3, 2009

So….I remember a magical time……one of unicorns and lollipops and cotton candy clouds….a land where I had already sorted out all the flights and hotels and transportation and tickets for this trip……oh, it was ever so grand…

Well the dream died last night…. Thanks a lot Jen and Beth! Jerks….the both of you….

With Jen having officially gotten the time off work, it was time to start booking things for her and Beth!

In order to keep things cost efficient, Jen and Beth are going to be doing the ‘roundabout’ Buffalo-->Seattlle-->Vancouver route. It certainly takes longer than flying direct from Toronto to Vancouver, but it’s also a whole heck of a lot less expensive.

Anyways, here are the details….

Coming In
Saturday, February 20th
Fly from Buffalo to Seattle, via Chicago
Depart 4:05 PM, Arrive 9:48
Spend the night in Seattle

Sunday, Feburary 21st
Take the train from Seattle to Vancouver
Depart 7:40 AM, Arrive 11:40 AM

Going Home
Sunday, February 28th
Take the train from Vancouver to Seattle
Depart 7:45 PM, Arrive 12:10 AM

Monday, March 1st
Fly from Seattle to Buffalo, via Philidelphia
Depart 8:45 AM, Arrive 9:43 PM

All told, we were able to get them there and back for about $450…which is a little less than half of what Pam and I are paying to fly direct….so there are significant savings. We still have more details to work out, like 100% if they are going to stay at the YWCA, a hotel for Seattle, and more tickets….but all in good time….


About This Blog

This blog is the online chronicle of our adventures leading up to, and including, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. We hope to give you a little insight into what went into planning our trip and a first hand look at the Games from the ground in Vancouver.

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