Monday, February 22, 2010

Vancouver was quieter today. Fewer people on the streets than before. Canada’s hockey loss on Sunday has taken some air out of the balloon. Still lots of Team Canada hockey sweaters all over the place, but the fans are subdued. There is clearly a nervous feeling in the air.

We had to return a rental car to the airport and then head from there to the Pacific Coliseum for the Ice Dance gold medal event. We took the new Canada Line train downtown. It was efficient and fast. We transferred to the Skytrain for the trip out to the venue. All went smoothly. As expected, lots of walking but no delays.

A much different crowd for figure skating than for hockey. For the most part, you could have heard a pin drop. As the evening wore on and anticipation started to build for the final few performances involving the Canadians, Americans and Russians, the crowd started to make more noise. It also occurred to us that we were sitting right above the family of American figure skater, Emily Samuelson, who had performed earlier that night.

The American pair of Meryl Davis & Charlie White put in an outstanding performance setting the bar high for the Canadian pair of Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir to win gold. The Canadians delivered a flawless routine and when the score was posted, the place went wild! At that point, the noise level equaled the hockey crowd from the previous night.

It was a privilege to be at an event where Canada won Olympic gold. It was particularly special when the Mounties brought out the Canadian flag and raised it to the rafters to the sound of O Canada. 

After the victory ceremony, we made a mad dash for the exit and cabbed it back downtown to the Jet Sport hospitality suite for a late dinner. As we dined on mushroom soup, bison short ribs with mashed potato and cappuccino crème brulee, it seemed to me that the next IR group team-building event should involve ice dancing! My sense is that Tim Chatten would be good at this! Did I mention that the weather today was spectacular - blue skies, sunshine and not a single cloud in the sky?

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