I’ve had a wonderful time in Vancouver! Many of my pictures look like they could have been taken at the Summer Olympics instead of the Winter Olympics. There are many pictures of flowering trees, flowers in bloom, sailboats and rowers on the water, and the sun making everything shine. The only pictures I have of the snow are the mountains and the snow caps seem to get smaller every day. We didn’t make it up to Whistler or Cypress to see any of the sports up there. Sadly, the scalpers down here don’t seem to cover the sports on the mountains and we hadn’t pre-purchased our tickets. We did watch some of the sports live on TV, though, which is something I couldn’t have done in southern California.
The Canadian coverage of the Olympics is a lot more thorough than the American coverage on NBC. Though they seem to have fewer channels covering the Olympics, I’m sure they have many more hours of coverage than NBC’s channels. Their channels have the Olympics airing live from the time the events start in the morning until they end. They have replays of games and events after that and unlike the US prime time coverage, they do not start with one sport, then go to another, then go back to the first sport, etc. If you want to watch ski jumping and not watch the other sports going on at that time, it’s simple – just choose the channel showing ski jumping. The only exception to this rule is when they are showing hockey games. They pick another sport airing at the same time to fill the gaps during intermission and go back to the hockey game as soon as intermission is over.
Watching USA vs. Canada men’s ice hockey in a local pub had to be a very close second to being in Canada Hockey Place to watch the game in person. Other than the two of us in our USA hockey jerseys, there was only one other fan we could see cheering for Team USA. There was a guy wearing an American flag as a cape (the Canadian flag as a cape has been very popular almost everywhere we’ve been). He didn’t join in when we chanted “USA! USA!” However, he did cheer when the US scored.
Everyone around us was very nice to us even though we were clearly cheering for the “wrong” team. They seemed to respect the fact that we had the guts to wear USA hockey jerseys into a Canadian bar to cheer our team on to victory. Needless to say, the trash talk from the Canadians took place a lot more before the game than during, since the US scored early to take the lead and never looked back. Canada tied the game a couple times, but never had the lead in the game.
Vancouver has been beautiful and everyone has been very friendly and helpful. I definitely want to come back here when I’ll have more time to enjoy the city.
I’m watching USA vs. Sweden women’s ice hockey right now from a bar with Wi-Fi and looking forward to seeing the US men’s ice hockey team continue to play well. One of the Canadians in Smiley’s (the bar we chose to watch the game) last night pointed out that Canada had the better individual players (Crosby, Getzlaf, Perry, etc.), but that USA had the better team. Since this is a team sport and not a skills competition, Team USA seems to have the advantage at the moment. Though Luongo played well in Canada’s first game, I doubt that Norway tested Canada the way the Swiss and American teams did. I’m not sure the TSN media analysis of Canada’s position in the Olympic standings being Brodeur’s fault is fair. Though I haven’t seen Canada vs. Norway yet and I did see a couple glaringly obvious mistakes by Brodeur in last night’s game against Team USA, it’s not like Canada lost 10-8. They only scored 3 goals. I don’t see how they can blame the game entirely on Brodeur when they weren’t scoring very much.
The rest of the Olympic hockey tournament should be very interesting. Perhaps thinking Team USA had a chance in men’s ice hockey wasn’t such a crazy thought after all.