Weblog van Moose - de eclectische eland

Weblog van Moose - de eclectische eland

Olympic Update

TravelPosted by Moose 2010-03-01 18:55

I missed the closing ceremony because I was on a bus to a further destination, so I don't know what Jacques Rogge said, but to Vancouver 2010 were the best Olympics ever. The fatal accident of a Georgian luger and some smaller mishaps at the start of the event were unfortunate, but the level of play and the atmosphere in the city were excellent.

The crowd at the curling venue was almost as loud as the hockey fans, and everyone in town seemed to be partying after every Canadian success (and they had a lot to celebrate). I didn't see many Dutch people downtown, because they all hang around in the tacky Holland Heineken House near the speed skating venue in Richmond, but all other nations were out on the streets together. Especially the Russians, Americans, Swiss and Scandinavians were well represented.

Because Canada lost to the US in the preliminaries I was fortunate to see them play the other big favorite Russia in the quarter finals. The Canadians crushed the 'commies' (as they were called by some over-excited fans) 7-3. Earlier I saw the United States just edging out Switzerland, 2-0. The Swiss didn't just have the support of their own fans, but also all the Canadians were cheering for them, because they weren't impressed that the Americans had dared to beat them in their own game. They got their revenge however in the gold medal game, when Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins scored the deciding overtime goal.

The men's curling team also did what was expected, winning the gold. Norway, who won the prize for most notable pants in the tournament, made a couple of crucial mistakes early in the final and Canada didn't allow them to get back in the game. The Canadian women however missed their chance on eternal glory. They had two chances to clinch the game, but came up short on both occasions. The crowd still gave them a loud cheer though and a silver medal is still something to be proud of.

Besides the typical Canadian sports (ice hockey and curling) I also went to the cross country skiing at Whistler Olympic Park. It was the 4x5 relay for women. The weather added another dimension as it was snowing, raining, overcast and even sunny during the race. So not only the skiers but also the ski technicians were important part of the teams. After an exciting race Norway ran away with the gold and there was a close battle for second place, with Germany just edging out Finland.

After the race I went up to Whistler to check out the other host city. It was like a miniature version of the Olympics, more intimate than Vancouver, but the enthousiasm of the people there was just as big at the least. In my opinion that's what makes the Games a success. It's not just about the quality of the ice and snow, but also about exciting events and great support by the spectactors, both local and international.

This was supposed to be just a quick update with more elaborate stories to follow later, so I better leave it at this for now, or I won't have anything to add anymore.

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