/ The Vancouver Guide

We’re Ready to Greet the World! 2010 Winter Olympics.

The blue and green banners  are up, 6,200 of them flutter from lamp posts all around  town, featuring 36 designs including 24 Olympic and Paralympic sporting events.  Welcome signs in different languages also adorn the lamp posts.  Buildings are draped in Olympic motifs and Canadian flags.  The City Hall shimmers in Ice Light, with LED strips that cascade like waterfalls every time the clock strikes the hour.  Splashed across the wall of Molson’s Kitsilano Brewery at Cornwall and Burrard St is a 4,000 square foot mural “Spirit of the Games” with the figure on an athlete holding up the Canadian maple leaf flag.  What makes it extra special are the 13,000 plus faces that comprise this mosaic. More than 450 large decals of 80 flags from participating Olympic countries are being laid on city sidewalks between the south Granville area and Yaletown.  From 16h Avenue across the Granville Bridge and on to the Terry Fox Gate in front of BC Place, the sidewalks will become a flag walk, a way-finding tool for the thousands of spectators and visitors who will be arriving in Vancouver this week.

There’s definitely an excited buzz in town as the big 2010 Olympic clock in front of the art gallery ticks down the hours and days til the Olympic Torch arrives in the city February 12 for the opening ceremonies of the Games.  On February 12 the Olympic torch arrives in the city, stopping first at City Hall before proceeding to BC Place for the opening ceremonies at BC Place.

But is everyone in the spirit of the Games?  There’s an undercurrent of anxiety because of our mild spring-like weather and the lack of snow on Cypress Mt. where the downhill and snowboarding events will take place.  Thousands of dollars are being used to truck and helicopter extra snow in from other areas.   And there’s already plenty of folks who are grumbling about the excessive cost of this event , road closures and  other inconveniences.  Olympic organizers insist all will be ready.  And for sure there’s plenty of snow at Whistler.

But there’s trouble elsewhere too, with ticket scalpers and lack of hotel bookings causing the cancellation of a cruise ship destined to be a floating hotel.  Many hotels have already slashed their prices though there still seems to be a scramble for some folks to find rooms, especially those with the last-minute cancellations.   Tickets to events are still available but for many of us the prices are out of our budgets, however there will be plenty of free events and entertainment.

So folks,  lighten up, eh?  Enjoy what is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to welcome the world and host an Olympics event.  Put on your red mittens, toques and  happy faces and let the world see what a great bunch of people we Canadians are and what a first-class, beautiful city we live in!  Welcome the World, Vancouver, and let the Games begin!

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    1 Comment

  • Sally says:

    Thanks for the view of the city all done up for the games, and the call for reason. Hope it turns out to be a lot of fun for city dwellers. It’s history.

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