A typical Vancouver day.
The following is dedicated to Andrew Koenig, aka Boner Stabone:
I don’t want to make anyone more jealous than they already might be but I really believe something unbelievable is brewing out here. And if there is any way possible for you to get here by about 4:30 p.m. PT on Sunday, you need to make it happen.
It was somewhat of a back-to-the-grind day for me on Thursday and I’m really happy it was.
I woke up after a decent sleep, ate breakfast with my aunt and uncle, which has become one of my favourite moments of the day – and the quietest. Afterward, I caught the tail end of the women’s curling semifinal, where Cheryl Bernard advanced to the gold medal game in far scarier fashion than needed and then I headed to the train station.
After my soothing ride on the West Coast Express I made my way up to the media centre at Robson Square, about six blocks from the station. I made it through security in no time, as I’ve pretty much perfected the craft at this point – though I must say I’ve been searched by the same guy so many times I feel he should meet my parents – and then slipped down the stairs.
Who’s downstairs in the press theatre when I get there?
Had I been 20 minutes earlier I would have caught all of his presser instead of just the tail end. However, I did snap a couple of photos and then sneak up to the front to shake his hand – among a crowd of course – and quickly let him know I promised a buddy I would make sure I met him. To which of course Montgomery looked utterly confused but still managed out a “Right on, man!”
When that was over I headed back to the hospitality suite to watch some coverage, where I chatted with some volunteers while Finland took down the Swedes in overtime for the women’s hockey bronze medal. Not too long later I headed up to ground level to meet a couple of Aarons, who have just showed up this week to take in the festivities.
I’ve discovered since arriving here that I can bring visitors into the media centre and today I found out I can bring at least two. I took the Aarons through security and down the stairs to show them around.
Who’s downstairs in the press theatre when we get there?
Since his face won’t be quite as recognizable as Montgomery’s, I’ll tell you a little about him. This is Errol Kerr, the lone member of the Jamaican ski team, who just came off his ninth-place finish in the inaugural ski cross.
He has been skiing all his life and trains near Lake Tahoe in the States. Aside from being a really nice kid, he is obviously pretty badass in this discipline and at just 23, could very well be standing on the podium in Sochi, four years from now.
All pressers begin with the athlete and/or delegates giving a prepared statement of some kind and then the floor opens up for questions. Not all pressers are packed with reporters either, especially non-Canadians, and this young man was left sitting there in silence once his initial statement was finished.
Well, I didn’t care whether I had a story to write about him or not, I wasn’t leaving him there like that so I hopped up to the mic, introduced myself and began asking questions.
Once I was done, thankfully the ball got rolling a little and some more inquiries followed. Meanwhile, the Aarons were clearly enjoying themselves because one had his camera out and was taking pictures from every angle and the other sent me back to the microphone with two questions of his own.
And with all due respect to the author of this blog, I think his questions were actually the best ones asked. But that’s neither here nor there.
After chatting with Kerr, we started to make our way back to the hospitality suite when I was introduced to this family from Sydney, B.C.:
The gentleman in the back there is Eddy Butler, who just so happens to be the man responsible for the LED-lit Olympic rings, which have been lighting the harbour since the Games introduction. But what many don’t know is Butler is also responsible for designing the Olympic rings on his daughter’s head.
And every morning, they wake up and he does Victoria’s hair, which is now actually down to just a 20-minute chore.
After bugging the Butler’s for a while to ask them questions and take their picture, I took the Aarons back to the hospitality suite, where they crammed in with all the other media, staff and I to watch what we all hope is the first of two gold medals in hockey this week. On the big screen adjacent to the game we also watched K-Mart beat up the Swedes to advance to the men’s curling final on Saturday.
With about two minutes left in the third period of the hockey game, we ran up to the street where the Robson Square big-screen TV sits and I filmed this:
After the game I took the boys all the way down to Global Plaza, where on the way we stopped in a Moxie’s to see the girls receive their medals and sing O Canada with everyone in the place. Before reaching the plaza I showed them these, which by the way there is now about 2,000 of along the water:
Once we arrived at Global Plaza, we didn’t stick around long. But it was just long enough for ScotiaBank to think they swindled me into applying for a credit card.
However I ASSURE you the joke is on them.
Anyway, we were pretty hungry so we decided to hoof it into Gastown, where we went to Steamworks pub, which has kind of become my go-to spot lately. We had just finished our food when the whole bar stopped to watch Joannie Rochette win easily the most heartwarming bronze medal in the entire history of time.
As if we haven’t been bombarded with overwhelmingly emotional moments already, this young lady is about as inspirational and amazing as a human being can be and took the term “capturing a nation” to unprecedented levels.
Suffice it to say, another off-key rendition of barroom O Canada followed and pride engulfed the room.
Afterwards, the three of us met up with some blasts-from-the-past, went to their Gastown apartment, which has about 17 floors and a waterfront view on every one, and sipped some extremely expensive scotch, while we talked about just how great life can be sometimes.
What did you do yesterday?