Feb 28, 2010

Day Seventeen #1 - Jasey Jay Anderson and Men's Curling Team

This morning (though it feels like forever ago) Jasey Jay Anderson and the Men's Curling Team was at the Media Centre for a press conference.
Jasey Jay Anderson is also a blueberry farmer (who knew?) and enjoys farming because he creates something. Anderson said that as an athlete you mostly focus on yourself, and being a farmer brings him peace. Jasey Jay seemed to be incredibly calm for someone who had just won gold. He also had a good sense of humor, when he stood up for photos and was asked to look this way and that, to lift up his medal, etc, he said "dance monkey dance". Hilarious.
The Men's Curling Team was really cool, and very excited about their accomplishment. They said that curlers are now taking fitness seriously, because the unfit curlers are getting beaten by the fit curlers. They also said that they find the insane and loud fans encouraging, as apposed to distracting, as some would think.
This is the first post of a few for today, so keep reading!

Feb 27, 2010

Day Sixteen - Media Centre Awesomeness

Today was awesome. First, at 10:30am I attended the press conference featuring the Canadian Short Track Speed-skating team. They were all very cool, and proudly wore their Canada jackets and gold medals. They answered questions in both English and French, and since my French is very primitive, I only understood the English. The conference was a very cool experience, and it was awesome to be that close to our champions!
Later on, at 1pm the Women's Curling Team, who placed silver, came, answered questions and was available for interviews and pictures (see earlier post for interview, see above for pics). They were also very cool, and seemed to remember that they were Olympics rookies, and getting to silver was an incredible achievement on their part.
After leaving the Media Centre, I joined Samaah, Veronika, Cheyenne, Lisa, Dezmond, Hannah and Christina from VANOC at the VANOC headquarters, and collected up all the extra pins, stickers, postcards, and posters, which we then took downtown and gave out to accepting, and sometimes swarming crowds. I managed to score two Moscow 1980 pins, and I picked up two Apple pins from the Apple Store at Pacific Centre.
That was basically my day, and a very good one at that.

Interview with Susan O'Connor

The audio is messed up, so here's the dialogue:

Lauren: Most of the medals of these Games have been won by female athletes. What do you think about that?
Susan O'Connor: I think it's really good. It's really important for girls to see women being really successful in sport. You see a lot of men playing basketball, baseball, hockey, so it's exciting to see women competing and winning just as much as the men.
Lauren: What advice do you have athletes who are just starting out and are trying to make it to the Olympics?
Susan O'Connor: I think the major thing is finding something that you really enjoy doing, because even once you do get to that higher level where it's more serious you do still have to enjoy it, especially when that pressure starts.

New Template!

Hey everyone, just got a new template. Way cool, right?

Expect another post tonight, and tomorrow!

Day Fifteen - MARIANAS TRENCH!!! (...oh and illScarlett..)

First it comes on quiet, creeping, slow...then Josh Ramsey comes on and the crowd goes insane. Last night, if you didn't know from my very frequent Facebook status updates, I went to see illScarlett followed by Marianas Trench at the Surrey Celebration Site. It was a VERY cool experience. First, we won the HOCKEY GAME AGAINST SLOVAKIA, SCORING US A SPOT IN THE GOLD MEDAL HOCKEY GAME ON SUNDAY!!!!! I watched the game from Surrey House, and there was a large, and very excitable, crowd. When Canada scored the first goal we all leaped to our feet and had hi-fives all around. I watched the third period from outside, in front of the stage, and held a collective breath for the last five minutes.
Then illScarlett came on. They were really good, but their fans were rowdy, lots and lots of pushing and shoving for that one. Then Marianas Trench came on after quite the delay, and the crowd, as I said above, went insane, but they weren't nearly as pushy-shovey as the illScarlett fans. Marianas Trench played many of the songs off their new album, Masterpiece Theatre, and few of their earlier hits (Shake Tramp, anyone?). Marianas Trench is one of my all-time favourite bands, so seeing them live at a free, all-ages concert was one of the coolest things I've gotten to do.
This morning I have been shifting through the 150 pictures I took, and finally decided on 80 that weren't very good, but I did not delete them (never!), I just have them in a 'Bad Pics' folder! Yay! Anyways, that left 40 and I thought they were all Facebook-worthy so they are up there. The above pics are (1) of the crowd behind me, (2) of Josh and Ian, (3) of me in the crowd, and (4) of Josh and Matt.

Feb 25, 2010

Day Fourteen <-- Gosh, already?!?

Hello, hello, hello!! Earlier I was feeling a bit sad that the Olympics were nearing the end, but then I watched the Women's Hockey Gold Medal Game. Wow. Just incredible. You should definitely watch it on Shaw On Demand if you missed even a few minutes.
StudentsLive has asked us reporters to write one or two large pieces about the 2010 Games, and I think I have an idea for mine. Today when I was in downtown, I realized I LOVE Vancouver. It's just so...nice! I was thinking about how I never want to leave Vancouver, and how being a part of StudentsLive and getting to go around Vancouver has had an effect on that. Stay tuned for that story, which may be up after the Olympics, or after the Paralympics, depending on time-constraints I am causing by blogging and not doing homework.
Tomorrow I will post a blog about the person I interviewed who is involved in broadcasting the Olympics. Said person is not allowed to do interviews, so I am only allowed to give general information about what she does. Exciting, eh?
Also tomorrow, I will be heading down to Surrey Celebration Site to try and see illScarlett and Marianas Trench, a show I think will be tons of fun.
Please stay tuned for these last few Olympic Days, and don't forget I will also being reporting for the Paralympics, which begin on March 12th!

Feb 22, 2010

Day Eleven - Yaletown VIPs and CBC

Hey everyone! (Second time tonight, aren't I a superstar?) Today 2 very exciting things happened, first I skipped the line at LiveCity Yaletown, and enter through the 'Invited Guests' enterance, and secondly, StudentsLive was feature on CBC! If you missed the news today, you can check out the clip at http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/Canada/BC/ID=1421788032.
Today was the second time I've been to LiveCity Yaletown, but it didn't get old. This time I went to all the ''houses'', Vancouver House, Panasonic House, and Coca Cola House. Vancouver House has a really nice set up, showing visitors how green Vancouver is, and what is being done to improve our sustainability. One thing I found very cool was a company that takes solid scrap wood that would just be thrown out, and turns it into stools and coffee tables. (See the third pic.) Panasonic House has a 3D theatre, which was very cool and the line-up wasn't too long. Coca Cola House is a total party, and surprisingly worth the hour-long line-up. Along with the free aluminum Cola, you can get your picture professionally taken with an Olympic torch, and then download it on to your computer with a special code, (that's the second pic.) And finally, you can release your inner polar bear, and get a picture with the paws, (that's the first pic.) I was at Yaletown with Christina Adams, the StudentsLive VANOC contact, and her family. Christina's mother was the coolest, (she told me to write that), and I had a really great time with them.
I will write more soon! Thanks for reading!

Day Ten - The Scent Of Spring and Disappointed Hockey Fans

Last night was an incredible (I've been using that word a lot, have you noticed?) experience for me, despite the embarrassing 5 - 2 hockey loss for Canada. First I'm going to tell you about 'The Scent Of Spring', and later I'll express my feelings towards the hockey.
The Scent Of Spring is a beautiful dance about forbidden love, and was put on by the National Dance Company of Korea. Everything about it was fantastic, the music, the stage, the costumes, the emotion, and, of course, the dancing itself. One part in particular stood out and that was the dances of the seasons. The passing of the year was shown by two dancers creating a tree that grew and then withered before our eyes. It was breathtaking, and overall indescribable.
Now, the hockey. I was disappointed that Luongo was not put in goal, as he seems to be calm and skillful under pressure, as opposed to Brodeur, who seemed very frantic and didn't just let the defense take care of some of the pucks. It was a nice win for the USA, but Canada is NOT our of the running. Like I've said earlier, I really believe Canada's women's hockey team is amazingly skillful, a pleasure to watch, and real contenders for the gold. I used to think that of the men's hockey team, but now I'm not so sure.

Feb 21, 2010

Day Nine - Speeeed Skating!

Last night was a great night for Canadian speed-skaters. First of all, in the Ladies' Short Track 1500m Heat 3, Valerie Maltais qualified by a mere one thousandth of a second! A photo finish that was very exciting to watch. Maltais went on to the semi-finals, but missed qualifing by 2 seconds. Secondly, the Hamelin brothers, Francois Hamelin and Charles Hamelin both represented Canada in the Men's 1000m finals! They just missed the podium, placing 4th and 5th, but had terrific races.
Today at 4:40pm the long awaited USA vs. Canada men's hockey game will take place. It is going to be an incredible game, and I think the world is definitely going to be watching this one. On the topic of hockey, the women's hockey this year has been incredible, if I say so myself. I'm not just talking about the infamous 18-0 game, I'm talking about the quality of hockey these ladies are playing. I have actually enjoyed watching women's Olympic hockey more than men's Olympic hockey.
Also tonight I will be heading to The Scent Of Spring, put on by the National Dance Company of Korea, which should be amazing.
There is only a week left in the Olympics, which is sad because I am having such an incredible time with Students Live, and just the feel of the city right now. Yes, there are anti-Olympic organizations and people who are negative about the Games, but at this point most have accepted that the Games are here and all you can do is enjoy them.

Feb 19, 2010

Day Eight - CBC, Cauldron

Today I went to see the Cauldron, again, but this time with fellow reporters Emily, Veronika, and Lisa being followed by 2 lovely people from CBC. It is a unique experience having someone run ahead of you, film you walking towards and then away from them, and then running in front again. They also gave us complimentary CBC pins. Feeling like a superstar, check! Once we were at the Cauldron we went around and asked people about their thought about the flame, and we got some interesting answers, which you can see at Emily, Veronika, or Lisa's blogs. I then went on to accompany Emily while she asked people in a lot of Team Canada gear what it meant to be to them to be Canadian, a question which also had some interesting answers. I'll write more soon!

Day Seven - Hockey

Last night I went to an intense women's hockey game, China vs. Russia. There was an overwhelming amount of Chinese fans, including someone dressed up as a giant panda. The seats shook from stomping, clapping, and Chinese chants, but that did not slow down the Russian fans. With the constant "CHINA!" "RUSSIA!" "CHINA!" "RUSSIA!" yelling, it was surprising that the athletes got to play at all. It was an exciting game and quite even throughout. The atmosphere and energy of all of the fans gave the feeling that the outcome of the game did not matter one bit.

Feb 17, 2010

Day Five and Six - Hurry! We Need To Get To Surrey!

Yesterday and today have been busy days for me, so much so that I don't really have anything to write about concerning the Olympics. I decided, instead, I could tell you about a few of the great bands performing at Surrey Celebration Site.

Friday, Feb. 19th
This Friday 'We Are The City' are performing at 5pm. We Are The City are an indie rock band from Kelowna, BC. I found out about them from the Peak Performance Project, a contest run by the Peak radio station (100.5fm), a contest that they won. They are a great band, and I really look forward to seeing them.

Saturday, Feb. 20th
This Saturday 'Said The Whale' are performing at 7:30pm. They are indie pop and just recently released their single 'Camilo (The Magician). Their music is fun and fantastic, and Said The Whale is a total must for those seeking quality music.

Friday, Feb. 20th
Next Friday both illScarlett and Marianas Trench are performing, the former at 8pm, the latter at 9pm. illScarlett is a rock band and have made a collection of songs perfect for the rebellious teen to blast through their stereo. Marianas Trench is from Vancouver and their latest album, Masterpiece Theatre, has a collection of pop/rock songs, all of which are incredible.

I hope to be down in Surrey for all of these concerts as all of these bands are very talented and should be great to see live.

I'll be back tomorrow with something a little better for you guys. Thanks for reading!

Feb 15, 2010

Day Four - Hockey at LiveCity Yaletown, and Red Mitts

Today was a really great day for me. This morning I finally watched the Opening Ceremony, and I was awestruck. It was incredible, and there's really nothing more I can say. If you missed it, or any other Olympic events you can watch CTV's coverage for free on Shaw On Demand.
In the afternoon I headed off to Live City Yaletown, with the intent to watch the Canadian Women's Hockey Team go up against Switzerland. When I arrived the line up went around the block. Jessica, an awesome friend of mine who I went with, and I looked at each other with worried faces when we saw the line. Once we got into the line, though, it moved very quickly, only taking us 20 minutes to get inside and through security. Live City Yaletown has some great houses, such as the Coca Cola House, Panasonic House, and the Acer House. Because of long line-ups, I only went into the Panasonic House, but it was very cool. One feature was the Eco-Globe, where you wrote your "Eco-Idea" of something you can do to help out the environment, then you scan it into the large television screen. You can then browse through all the other Eco-Ideas others have scanned into the screen, which is very techy and fun.
It was really exciting to watch the Canadian Women show us what they are made of again today, pulling off an incredible 10-1 win over Switzerland. I cannot wait to watch them take on Sweden on Wednesday. While Jessica and I was watching the game, we were discussing how disappointing it is that there is so little coverage of women's hockey available, and how there is talk of Olympic Women's Hockey being discontinued, just like Olympic Women's Softball was.
LiveCity Yaletown is a super location and has really interesting things to do if you don't mind standing in a line for a while.

There is some sort of problem with the Blogger Image Uploader, so I'll try to get the images up later!

Day Five - February 16th

-I won't be going anywhere Olympic tomorrow.

Day Three - Victory

Good morning! Last night was phenomenal, and I'm not just talking about the Victory Ceremony I was privileged to go to, I'm talking about Alexandre Bilodeau being the proud new owner of the first gold medal won by Canadians on Canadian soil ever!! It was announced during the Victory Ceremony and we stood up and we cheered and we remembered where we were when we won gold. Bilodeau has made history, and I think we are all proud to be watching history being made.
Before I tell you about the Victory Ceremony, I would like to give a shout out to the lovely student bloggers from Historica who helped me when I was almost in tears, lost in downtown, without a phone, without a map of any kind, not knowing whether the others had left without me or not, and scared out of my mind. They took me to where I needed to be and they were really friendly, and so helpful. Thanks guys!
British Columbia's night of the Victory Ceremonies was incredible. One of the best parts of the BC section of the night was when "snow" starting falling. It was actually little strips of wax paper that everyone was trying to catch, but it gave a beautiful impression. There was also a fashion show, with some very outrageous, creative, and fascinating pieces. Scrapartsmusic performed, a group of five drummers who use, basically, scrap parts to make music, and they were fantastic.
Next came the medals. I'm not going to go through and tell you who won what, because you can read that anywhere. Instead I'm going to tell you about my favourite Olympic Medal receiver from last night, Ivan Skobrev. Skobrev is from Russia, and the reason he was my favourite was because when his name was called for bronze, he kissed the podium before jumping on to it, waving his hands around, all while grinning as large as he could. He was happy, just as he should be, and he showed it the best.
Yesterday was incredible, but tomorrow's going to be better. Thanks for reading!

Day 4 - Feb. 15th

3pm - 4pm Live City Downtown (Women's Hockey)
rest of day Out N About!

Feb 14, 2010

Day Two - Hockey, Moguls, and Surrey

Today was a fantastic kickoff to the Olympics for a couple of different reasons. Firstly, the Canadian Women's Hockey Team. If you missed the game, Canada dominated with an 18 - 0 win, setting a new record of the most goals scored by a women's Olympic hockey team. Let's keep up the good work, ladies!
The women shined again today in the Freestyle Skiing Moguls. All 3 of the Canadian women in the Finals had amazing runs. I particularly enjoyed Kristi Richards run because she showed true Olympic spirit. During the middle section on the moguls she lots control and had a devastating fall. One she had gotten back up, and reattached a stray ski, her time stood at 40 seconds. I knew if I was her I would walk off the mountain right then, sore and embarrassed. But sore and embarrassed was not enough for Richards, she looked down the mountain, took a few deep breaths, then continued on her run, ending with a spectacular flip. She finished with a time of 1:07, and a score of 4 placing her last, but she reminded us of what it means to be Canadian.
I watched both of those events from Surrey House at the Surrey Celebration Site. The Surrey House is a great place to be, with screens displaying sport, lots of great food (shout out to those Vietnamese spring rolls!), and a live stage. Cheering along side so many diverse Canadians at Surrey House just makes sport watching that much better. There is tons of live music happening there too, head over to www.surrey2010.com to check out who's where when. Surrey Celebration Site is an exciting way to experience the Olympics, and is just by a SkyTrain station, so it's very accessible.

This is a new little thing I'm going to do, to tell you where I'm going to be on the coming day. I'll be in a purple Students Live hoodie, so come say hi!

Day 3 - Feb. 14th

-Victory Ceremony at BC Place 6pm

Feb 13, 2010

Opening Ceremonies (or not)

Right now I was planning to be blogging about the Opening Ceremonies. The things that stood out to me, things that surprised me, things that made me want to give our country a big hug, things that filled me with pride. But, unfortunately, I didn't see them. No, I didn't forget, how could I? I got a migraine. For those of you who don't know, a migraine is a bad headache that effects other parts of your body too. My eyes were hurting and I was nauseas, all stuff I've had before, but then I started to get a kind of pins and needles sensation in my hand and face, but only on the right side. Now, neither my mother or I like the sound of that, so we headed off to the ER 3 minutes before the Opening Ceremonies began.
Everything at the hospital went fine, they said it was probably just something new added to my 'migraine routine', and referred me to a neurologist to make sure. I left, feeling a lot better, around 8:30pm. I got home just in time to watch the cauldron be lit, but that was it. I missed it all.
Now I am simply waiting for the Opening Ceremonies to be up on Shaw On Demand so I can watch the spectacular show everyone else saw. Look out for that belated blog!

Feb 11, 2010

Torch Relay

Today I watched our Olympic Torch just a few blocks away from where I live. The accessibility of the torch is incredible. The 2010 Olympic Torch Relay is the longest ever, travelling for 106 days, and it is within 1 hour's drive of 90% of Canadians. The sheer energy and excitement that comes from this single flame that has been all around the country. The torch is flaming, moving proof that the Olympics are coming, OUR Olympics are coming, and we are proud.

Feb 9, 2010

Mr. Geoff Meggs

"The best part [about the Games] is that there will be a period for a while a sense of everyone pulling together, and just having a good time together as a community." said City Councillor Geoff Meggs on a cool, sunny Monday morning in a small meeting room in City Hall. In this meeting room there was a table, surrounded by six chairs. In these chairs sat Emma Djaw, Hannah Lin, Mr. Geoff Meggs, and I. Emma, Hannah and I were interviewing Mr. Geoff Meggs about the upcoming Winter Games and how they relate to all Vancouverites. Throughout the interview we talked about homelessness, youth, blogs, and the benefits and disadvantages of hosting the Games.

Mr. Geoff Meggs spoke in that interview about homelessness, and said that the Games have put pressure on the province and the city to open shelters. The real test, Mr. Geoff Meggs said, will be what happens to the shelters after the Games, as the funding for them ends on April 30th this year.

We questioned the City Councillor continuously about youth. Mr. Geoff Meggs suggested youth wanting to experience the Games should get downtown as much as possible, check out Northern House, and to try to attend the Paralympics, as they are accessible, lots of fun, and high quality. He also said that he thinks snowboarding, half-pipe, and ski cross are going to be popular sports among youth. When asked about amateur sport opportunities, Mr. Geoff Meggs replied with an immediate 'No,' he continued on to talk about the lack of amateur sport in the provincial budget and how that makes it nearly impossible for many families to afford, and have time for, the few amateur sport opportunities for youth.

Mr. Geoff Meggs has a blog, (www.geoffmeggs.ca) and told us that his blog allows him to communicate with those he never would have otherwise, and it excites him to be able to communicate with others so quickly.

As I mentioned before, Mr. Geoff Meggs believes the best part of the Games is everyone having a good time as a community, but what about the worst part? "My preference would be that it would be more about the sport, and more about the community, and less about the selling." said Mr. Geoff Meggs. I'm sure we all agree with him on this point.

The interview on Monday was an incredible experience, and wouldn't have been possible without Emma Djaw setting it up, Hannah Lin contributing her skills, and, of course, Mr. Geoff Meggs. Thanks so much to all of you! Please check out Hannah's blog: www.slr-oapgames.blogspot.com, and Emma's blog: www.olympics-emma.blogspot.com .

Stay tuned throughout the Games for lots of interesting stories!

Feb 6, 2010

Practically Springtime...

Hey everyone! I feel like I haven't posted in ages, so sorry about that!
Here's what I've been up to:
Monday: Ninja Night! The SMK youth are awesome.
Tuesday: Champion Slam Poets visit PW and show us how it's done!
Wednesday: Course Planning for grade 9! Exciting!
Thursday: Confirmation classes, 6 page 'spiritual gifts' exam. Woah.
Friday: Dinner at Spaghetti Factory, yum!

I've had a good week, and next week is just gonna be better. I'm interviewing Geoff Meggs, City Councillor, with the lovely Emma Djwa (http://olympics-emma.blogspot.com). Big thanks to Emma for setting that up and inviting her fellow reporters to co-interview. Also next week is HeartBeat, PW's Valentine Dance, which has been strongly advertised as 'not a couples dance!', so we'll see. Then, on Sunday there is the youth service at St Mary's Kerrisdale, and it's going to be great!

Has anyone else noticed the really strange gorgeous weather we've been having? We've had all these highs of 7 to 10 Celsius, crazy for Vancouver winters, eh? VANOC has got truck loads of snow heading to Cypress from Manning Park in an effort to ensure the Games go over as smoothly as possible.

I'll write more soon! Peace!