The Olympics are over..as far as I’m concerned

Well, today was the last day of Olympic fun. We finished it all off with one final event: men’s curling.

Swedes Curling

Now, when we first bought our tickets, we thought we were going to be on the side again like we were at the women’s session, towards one end of the ice, but with a decent view. Turns out we were waaaaaaay off to the side past the end of the ice and had this view:

It was a lovely view of..the crowd

This view was ESPECIALLY cool since the US was playing on the closest lane, so I couldn’t see their game at all half the time, and hardly at all the other half (depending which way they were going). So close to half of the way through the session, the hubby scouted us some new seats and we moved. It was the early morning session and Canada wasn’t in it, so it wasn’t COMPLETELY full. We ended up with this view:

Muuuuuch better

Which was totally different than our view of the woman’s game and really quite cool. It led to the opportunity to get some really fun shots like these:

The US men curling

The Swedes curling back at us...with the US anxiously looking on

Curling is a GREAT sport if you like heinies. Just go to a game of the opposite gender and sit on one end

Have I mentioned I really enjoy sports photography? It’s a fun challenge trying to catch action as it happens, not to mention expressions/emotion. I also enjoy looking back through the photos I got after the game and getting another view of what was going on. Makes me jealous of sports photographers with their fancy cameras and picture-editing software. This is the real life, baby, single shot, crappy vantage point, no editing. Hard core!

Some of the teams that were curling this morning were…

Team USA

Team Germany

Team China

aaaaaand…..wait for it….

Team Fancy-Pants! I mean..Team Norway!

I think I spot a new fashion trend coming on!!! They seemed like really nice guys, at one point the stands started chanting “Nor-way! Nor-way! Nor-way!” and they turned around and waved. No one does that!

The games were very different than the women’s games we saw. In those 4 matches, 2 games went to an 11th end and 2 went all they way through the 10th. In this game, one team conceded after 7 ends, one conceded after 8 ends, once conceded during the 10th end, and the last was an EXTREMELY close game that went all the way to the last stone in the 11th end. Guess which game went to 11? Did you guess? Didja? The USA vs. Sweden! Atta-boys! They actually managed to beat Sweden, a much better team, in the 11th end with the very.last.stone. And it only WENT to 11 ends after the judge had to bring out the fancy-shmancy measuring device because it was so hard to tell whose stone was closer. It was extremely exciting, with an ideal crowd: people for both the US and Sweden who were VERY into it but still VERY polite. I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

The stones. I think they're cool-looking.

So that was a very positive, very exciting way to end our Olympic experience! On the walk back we were talking, and we realized that we went to five events: Canadian hockey, US hockey, women’s curling (w/US), men’s curling (w/US) and figure skating. Of the four events with the US we saw, the US won 3 of them! Very fun! The hubby also went to speed skating and another US hockey game, and the US won both of those, too! Guess we’re good luck.

On the way back, as I was sweating in the hot sun, I had the hubby snap a picture:

Proof there was snow!

See? It WAS a winter Olympics! Look at all that snow! No, no, look up, in the mountains. Now squint a bit. It’s at the veeeery top. And it’s hard to see with how bright it is. OK, got it? Snow! Winter! Please ignore the clear blue skies, clearly visible sunshine, green grass, and fully-leafed trees. They are irrelevant.

Here’s the thing. Most of my knowledge of the winter Olympics pre-trip came from Cool Runnings. So when I thought “winter Olympics” I thought something like this:

Now, my ability to regulate body temperature is only slightly better than that of a lizard, so I naturally packed two jackets, a sweater, long sleeves, fuzzy socks, long pants, gloves, etc. etc. etc. And then proceeded to sweat non-stop the whole trip. Of course, to avoid dealing with parking, Vancouver basically shut down all streets and parking near the venues so everyone had to use public transit. The hubby was thrilled! He loves that stuff! I consider it annoying and a waste of my time to walk out of my way, stand in line, pack onto a vehicle, ride a ways, get off, possibly repeat the process, and then walk back to where I wanted to end up, but it did make sense for the games. Except for the whole heat thing. It was warm for walking! Once you got INTO the venues which were kept freezing (literally) for the sake of the ice, you needed a jacket (one. not two. for the record)..but during the 15+ minute walk to get there, not so much. Luckily I have a very loving, whipped, supportive hubby who volunteers to do stuff for me all the time like carrying my extra clothing so I don’t pass out and/or sit down and refuse to walk any further (all joking aside, I really do appreciate this. He’s very good to me and my lack of energy). So it worked out. But geeze! Not what I was expecting for a WINTER Olympics!

On the up side, if I had to pick a week to take off work and actually FEEL the sunshine instead of just staring at it through windows, this was a good one! I’m not really complaining about the weather..it was a bit odd…but it was also quite nice to get to experience!!

After the games, back in the car and down south through the border crossing and home. It went something like this:

Well…like that anyway.

It’s so good to be home. With my bed..my glorious bed. I’m sorry, dear mattress. I will never speak ill of you again. And my PUPPY! Who is currently laying next to me on my bed, sleeping off his exhaustion at playing non-stop with his human and canine friends down the street for 5 days straight. He was very very VERY excited to see us when we got back, and wanted to play and play and play and play and check that everything was exactly the same and play and play and then he collapsed. We’ll see if he’s recovered tomorrow :-)

I had a great time at the Olympics, somewhat to my surprise, and I’m almost sad that they’re over! I mean..I heard something about the Olympics and next week, but that can’t be right ’cause I know I have to be at work. So *shrug* I guess someone has their information wrong. I’m sure they’re on TV somewhere, but who does that? I’ll just stick with my happy memories.

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