The recent publicity about Chicago's bid for the site of an upcoming Olympics, increased my excitement and anticipation of the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. That is because I have made arrangements to attend the games which run from February 12 - 28, in various sites located in this beautiful area of British Columbia. I am using a travel company for these games that I have never used before, Cartan Travel ( www.cartan.com ) because they were recommended to me by a friend who used them for her travel to the recent summer Olympics in China. ( I will keep you posted on how things go with Cartan as the time grows closer for my departure and throughout the games. ) The photo shows my first souvenir for the 2010 games---a collector's pin with the official logo for the Vancouver Olympics, topped by a Canadian-logo ice skate. It is appropriate that my first souvenir have an ice skate on it because the events I have tickets for (ice hockey and curling) both call for the athletes to wear ice skates. Although I requested tickets for speed skating and figure skating events, the official lottery system used to meet ticket requests (www.cosport.com) came up with a different itinerary for me. Since I am not an aficionado of any particular winter sport, I was not "devastated" by the lottery results. Based on my experiences attending the Olympic games in Calgary, Canada, in 1988, and those in Atlanta in 1996, ANY Olympic competition one goes to is very worthwhile and enjoyable.
My son and I are pictured at some of the venues for the Olympic games in Canada in 1988. I was a complete novice in Olympic arrangements at the time, and made choices that called for us to attend a downhill skiing event, located several hours travel time outside Calgary, on the SAME day we had tickets to a night time figure skating event. It would have been a logistical impossibility, short of our own personal helicopter, but we got very lucky---the downhill skiing event had to be cancelled and rescheduled because there was not enough snow; so we got a complete refund on those tickets! I say I was a novice because it was not until a friend who lived in Harrison, Arkansas, told me about visiting Olympic venues in New York ( he was wearing a winter scarf with the logo from the games) that I realized mere mortals could actually attend Olympic activities. Up until then, I didn't know that attending such a famous event was an attainable goal! So thanks----JAH !
One of the inescapable aspects of the Olympics is SOUVENIRS---what to buy to help you remember your experience. The collector's lapel pins are always a crowd favorite, and I got one of those (upper left photo) when I toured the Coca Cola pavilion at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. I have always been a fan of purchasing embroidered patches as souvenirs, as they can be sewn onto a variety of items when one gets home, which is what I did with the Calgary patch (lower left) that I sewed onto a neck scarf. Although I did not actually attend the games in Utah or Sydney, Australia, I WAS able to visit some of the venues used during those games, and had the opportunity to buy souvenirs there. Based on my experience trying to buy souvenirs at the Olympic games in Atlanta, I will probably purchase any large or especially meaningful Vancouver 2010 souvenirs at the official website for those games (www.vancouver2010.com ) That is because the lines to the cashiers at all of the souvenir stores in Atlanta were so incredibly long, one spent more time in line to pay for your itmes, than you spent shopping for your souvenirs!
The other contributing factor to my current diagnosis of Olympic fever, is the memory verse for our First Place 4 Health class this week. It is from I Corinthians 9:24 and says "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." One thing this verse shows is that, although it was written over two thousand years ago, sports analogies were just as useful then as they are now to encourage us in our life's journey. So let's get out there and get MILES OF SMILES!! Tricia