In the records books

25/03/2010

I am slowly but surely getting through my photos, sorting, deleting, naming and organising them.  I took over 4,500 shots in seven weeks, and I only took one camera with me!!  I am making a couple of slideshows, turning them into wee videos and in the next few days hope to upload them into the blog.  Once I do this it will be the end of my Olympic blogging and will turn my attention to my next trip, which is to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

While going through my photos tonight I came across a few I had forgotten about and had to plan to use on my blog.  The one below is me with Athanasios and Panagiota Tsakiris, from the Greek team, who made history when they became the first ever father-daughter duo to compete at the same Winter Games.

Panagiota and Athanasios Tsakiris

The father and daughter’s record secured them a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

For Athanasios, Vancouver was his fifth Winter Olympics and he has competed over 600 times, in international competitions, as a member of the Greek ski team, in the biathlon and cross-country events.  His daughter, Panagiota, competed in her second Games, in the Biathlon.

It is a great achievement and one the Tsakiris’ family should be very proud.

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The Olympic/Paralympic party is nearly over

21/03/2010

Today is the last day of the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games and it is three weeks since the end of the Olympic Games.  They say all good things must come to an end…but this quick, come on!!!  It only seems like five minutes since the IOC awarded the Games to Vancouver in the first place.

The Paralympic Closing Ceremony is taking place in Whistler Medals Plaza today and I wish I was there to see it because it will be fantastic.  I am pleased to hear Whistler is getting to bring down the curtain on what has been a fantastic event.  The locals in Whistler have done a huge amount of work and deserve to see the Closing Ceremony on their on door step.

For anyone in Whistler reading this and don’t know the times: the event will start with the athletes parade along the Village Stroll at 6:45 p.m.   The Closing Ceremony will celebrate more than 500 Paralympic athletes from 44 countries and the entire show will be broadcast on Whistler Live! screens.  Wrap up and get out there and see the last hurrah of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.


Wheelchair Curling

13/03/2010

Wheelchair curling differs from Olympic curling in that the teams are required to be mixed-gender and since no sweeping is allowed to keep a rock straight, shooting has to be precise.

Wheelchair curling only has eight ends compared to 10 in traditional curling, so the mid-game break comes after the fourth end.

And today, in the opening game, Canada beat Great Britain 9-2 in seven ends, in what was a rematch of the gold medal final from four years ago in Torino.

I hope the GB wheelchair curling team is not going to go the same way as the Olympic team 😦


The Paralympic Symbol and Motto

13/03/2010

The symbol of the Paralympic Games is composed of three Agitos, colored red, blue and green, encircling a single point, on a white field.

The Agito (meaning “I move” in Latin language) is a symbol of movement in the shape of an asymmetrical crescent.

The colours of the agitos with the white background stand for the three colours that are most widely represented in national flags around the world.

The Paralympic motto is “Spirit in Motion”.  The motto was introduced in 2004 at the Paralympic Games in Athens.

The previous motto was “Mind, Body, Spirit”, introduced in 1994


Team GB

21/02/2010

Both Team GB curling teams lost last night.  The men had a tough game with the Canadian team but it was winable.  And the women lost to the USA win they were well ahead.

All is not lost yet but the teams must win their three remaining matches to reach the semi-finals.

Today in action:

Ed Drake – downhill and super combined

Men and Women’s curling teams

John and Sinead Kerr – Ice Dancing

Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland – Ice Dancing

GOOD LUCK GB!!


Well done Amy Williams

20/02/2010

Team GB won its first medal yesterday, and it was Gold for Amy Williams in the Skeleton at Whistler.  It was unexpecteded but a fantastic result for GB.

John and Sinead Kerr are lying 8th after the first compulsory dance in the Ice Dancing competition with two more rounds to come.

Our curling teams are having mixed performamces and today could be crucial as the mens team is playing China and Canada.

Come on Team GB!!


Lindsey Vonn eat your heart out!!!

17/02/2010

I did something today I haven’t done for 20 years…I went skiing…and I didn’t end up in hospital!!  I decided that I couldn’t come to Whistler and not try skiing.  The last time I skied was in 1989 and knackered my knee big time.  My knee still isn’t great but I decided to risk it.

I thought, given the length of time since I had last time I skied, I should enrol in a ski school at Whistler-Blackcomb.  My volunteer uniform is actually a ski jacket and trousers and it was very useful today.

First stop after check-in was the rental shop to get my skis, boots, poles and helmet.  Problem #1, getting the boots buckled up.  Who designs these things!?  I broke two nails trying to flip the clips.  Eventually a nice assistant fitted my boots for me.  Problem #2, adopting the funny walk created by the boots.  Ski boots must be the most uncomfortable footwear ever and I have yet to see someone who looks comfortable walking in them.  And I can’t understand why anyone would want to walk round the supermarket wearing them, and the helmet and goggles!!

It was a beautiful day on Whistler mountain and I was looking forward to skiing, although a tad nervous.  I was in a class of 5 and our instructor was Frank.  I am not going to document the whole day but I would like to make it known that I did not fall once, I shoogled a few times but I always managed to stay on my feet, sorry, skis.  We went on the Olympic Chair and skied down the Olympic run…no, not that Olympic run, it was being used for some women’s skiing event.

Downhiller

I had been concerned about my knee but I shouldn’t have, it was fine, it was my foot that caused me some discomfort, problem #3.  My right foot has been a problem for some time and when squeezed into ski boots it didn’t like it, cramped up and was very painful.  At the lunch break I took the boot off and walked about in my bare-foot on the cold floor, it helped greatly.  I had to do this one more time before finishing for the day, this time I stuck my bare-foot straight into the snow…ahhh, relief.

I had a great day, with fab weather, in a fantastic environment, and I even indulged in skier’s comfort food when I got back to the bottom of the hill, I had a BeaverTail.  I am so glad I made the decision to go skiing.  Now where is the Dave Murray Downhill?

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Tonight I attended the concert given by Barenaked Ladies in the Village Square.  It was an excellent event and was attended by a huge number of people…we were packed in, standing shoulder to shoulder.

Barenaked Ladies

There was a great vibe in the Square and it increased even more when the medal ceremonies from Whistler and Vancouver were beamed on the big screen.

Tonight, Maelle Ricker (Can) was presented with her Gold medal from yesterday’s snowboard cross racing.  The plaza erupted and ‘O Canada’ was sung in full voice by the red and white brigade.

It was also good to see Lindsey Vonn (USA) get her much deserved Gold medal for winning the ladies downhill event.  She has had a fantastic season so far and her Olympic success only reiterated her dominance in her event.

The British curling teams finally got off the mark – the men’s team beat France and the women’s team beat China.  I can hardly wait to get down to Vancouver to see the curling event.