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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British, US Olympic bodies to share expertise

05/03/2010

The British Olympic Association and the US Olympic Committee have signed an agreement to share resources and expertise ahead of the next Summer and Winter Games.

BOA chairman Colin Moynihan and USOC chairman Larry Probst signed the agreement in San Francisco this week after negotiations in Vancouver.

The BOA says the bodies will consult on “issues of mutual interest” for London 2012 and cooperate on ski events ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

The agreement will include the creation of a British governing body for skiing and snowboarding following the collapse of Snowsport GB a week before the Vancouver Games.


Be proud Canada

28/02/2010

I am so glad to be here in Canada at these Games.  I may not be Canadian but I feel your pride, your passion and your patriotism.

The Games didn’t start out well with death of the young Georgian luger, the malfunction of the Olympic Cauldron at the Opening Ceremony and the lack of snow on Cypress Monutain.  But out of this doom and gloom the city, the province, the country and the Games rose like a phoenix to take the Olympics to a new level like no other host nation has done before.

As I watch television there are crowds in the streets in towns and cities throughout Canada, celebrating the hockey success and the success of the Canadian Olympic team.

Canada, you believed you were going to deliver a great Games, you believed your team would be successful and you believed in your nation.

Please believe that the Paralympic Games will be just as successful on all fronts.  Give the Paralymics the same support.

Congratulations.


Thoughts with the people of Chile

28/02/2010

Yesterday I assisted some of the members of the team from Chile with their luggage as the were leaving the Athletes Village in Whistler to head to Vancouver for the Closing Ceremony before flying home to Chile.  We spoke about the recent earthquake in their country and I wished them a safe journey and that their families were safe at home.


Olympic Fact #1

12/02/2010

Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong (‘The Snow Leopard’), the very first alpine skier ever to represent Ghana at a Winter Olympic Games, was actually born in Glasgow in 1974.  His father was studying for a masters degree at the city’s University.  He grew up in Ghana before returning to Britain.


Scots in Team GB

11/02/2010

MEN’S CURLING TEAM

David Murdoch (Skip), Euan Byers, Pete Smith, Ewan MacDonald. Alternate: Graeme Connal. Coach: David Hay.

Murdoch is world champion and recently won a big tournament in Canada, beating the hosts for the fourth time in a row.

WOMEN’S CURLING TEAM

Eve Muirhead (Skip), Lorna Vevers, Kelly Wood, Jackie Lockhart. Alternate: Annie Laird. Coach: Nancy Murdoch.

Britain won gold in 2002 and have a rising star in 19-year-old skip Muirhead. Came third in recent tournament against other Olympic nations.

BOBSLEIGH

Gillian Cooke. Age: 27

Former long jumper took up sport after a foot injury in 2008 and became world champion with partner Nicola Minichiello last year.

ICE DANCING

John Kerr, 29 and Sinead Kerr, 31

West Lothian siblings were tenth at the 2006 Games and fifth at last month’s European Championships. Ranked fifth in world.

HALFPIPE SNOWBOARDING

Lesley McKenna, 35

Aviemore woman did well to qualify for third consecutive Olympics against the odds.

HALFPIPE SNOWBOARDING

Ben Kilner, 21

Banchory youngster is ranked 26th in the world, and goes into Games in good form.

SPEED SKATING:

Elise Christie, 19

Falkirk teenager was sixth in 1,500m at last year’s European Championships and will also compete in short track at 500m and 1000m.

ALPINE SKIING

Andy Noble, 25

Edinburgh giant slalom skier will be making his Olympic debut. Ranked outside top 100.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING

Andrew Musgrave, 19

Cross-country skier from Huntly was ninth at the World Junior Championships in 2008.

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING

Andrew Young, 17

Also from Huntly, the youngster’s father Roy coaches the British cross-country team.


Only 1 day and 18 hours to go – where does the time go?

11/02/2010

Sorry for not posting yesterday’s proceedings before now.  I had a very long day in the Village, I didn’t get home until 00:40 and I had to get up early to catch the 08:20 bus to Vancouver to get down in time to attend tonight’s Opening Ceremony dress rehearsal.

I am saying nothing about the rehearsal as it is a secret until Friday when the audience in BC Place and the billions watching around the world will see it for themselves.  All I will say to those reading this blog, and attending the OC on Friday, please consider taking an extra layer to wear, it was a tad chilly in BC Place tonight.

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I had a great time in the Village yesterday.  I was assigned to the Resident Services HQ, helping answering queries behind the front desk.  I am not sure I was there a great deal of the time because I was out and about helping teams with one thing or another.

My first task was to help Korea put up their flag on the front of their accommodation, which required a ladder, a hammer, some nails and a Scottish/Korean translation book!  I sourced the items to do the task and it then took the next 40 mins or so to complete the task.  The Korean officials had many discussions about where and how they wanted the flags hung.  After much deliberation and instruction we finally nailed a huge flag, that would probably carpet my entire flat, to the outside of the building.

Job done I thought.  Nope, I was nabbed by Greece to do the same thing with them.  With them there was much discussion about exactly where to hang the flag, to the right, to the left, no, in the centre was the final resting place.

On both occasions, even although there were slight language challenges, we all had a laugh about what were trying to do.  I was just pleased to assist where possible.

After this I helped out in the laundry centre to allow a fellow volunteer to have a break then dinner.  I moved luggage, arranged to have some trees trimmed, learned how to enter tasks to be done into the computer database and few other things.  The time just flew past and it was 23:00 before I knew what was going on.  After chatting with a few folk I finally caught the bus at 23:50 to Creekside then it seemed to take me an eternity to climb the hill to the house, getting in at 00:40.  I was still wide awake so I did some packing to save me doing it in the morning.

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When standing waiting for the Greyhound bus this morning snow was blowing in the wind.  The expectation is that by Saturday it will be  stormy with some snow.  Due to this forecast the organisers of the downhill have decided to bring the event forward a few hours on Saturday to try and avoid the worst of the weather.

That’s your lot for now, I’m away to bed.