Day Two – Saturday, February 13th
On day two we had tickets to the first Canadian hockey game of the Olympics at 5:00 pm, the Canadian Women vs. Slovakia. We set out early in the afternoon to check out the action on Robson Street and to visit British Columbia,Canada Pavilion at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Being Gallery members we were able to skip the line and take the elevator straight to the fourth floor. The exhibit features mutli-media interactive displays with a focus on sustainability. The 4D theatre makes anyone who sees it want to visit BC in both summer and winter. Our favorite was the Forest Gallery showcasing some amazing wood products and an on-site carver.
Canada Hockey Place
After having attended a dress rehearsal at BC Place we figured that the only entrances to GM Place would also be on the ‘back’ side off of Carrell Street and this was in fact the case. During the game it became quite obvious that the ushers were VANOC volunteers and not the Canucks regulars. People were allowed to enter the rink during the play and even stand on the entry stairs during the game. Our usher did not know where any of the seats were and could not help people nor did she seem to know anything about hockey. While this was not a huge deal given the 18-0 score, it will not be acceptable during a tight and important game. I wonder why VANOC did not just ask the Canucks ushers to volunteer their time. I am sure they would have said yes!
The game itself was OK, but it was 3-0 after the first five minutes and it became clear this was going to be a Canadian route. It was, with Canada’s 18 goals setting an Olympic record. We are a bit concerned about our girls as they became pretty sloppy in the second half, something they won’t be able to do against a tougher opponent. The classiest moment of the night came at the end of the game as the Slovakian team raised there sticks and saluted the fans who replied with a standing ovation for what had to be a tough game for them. True Canadian spirit!
On the way home we walked down Granville and happened upon a ‘Decentralized Dance Party’ in the street as well as a performance by a 10 piece band and a magician. Granville and Robson streets are sure to be full of live performances and happy people throughout the next 13 days. The atmosphere is contagious and makes you want to just join in.