Saturday, January 9, 2010

Part One:Training to be an Olympic volunteer Day One Jan 8, 2010 - the drive to Whistler

The first day of my Olympic dream had me getting up around 5:30AM - actually was having trouble sleeping and arose before the alarm.

My "A" plan was to walk across the Burrard Bridge to the vehicle compound where our training was to take place IF the weather was dry - Plan "B" was to take the bus - despite a rainy day forecast it was dry so after ensuring that I had my material with me and my driver's license I proceeded to walk across the bridge - it only took about 20 minutes so I was early but so where many others - at the security checkin I was warmly greeted and advise to walk to the large canvas white tent - inside there were some cookies and coffee - most of the crowd is older and there are two groups here today - the easiest way to describe it is - one group will be Vancouver based and one group will be Whistler based - the training event is for both Olympic and Paralympic volunteers - there are two people here who I know from my working days - both are going to be Vancouver based.

Promptly at 8:30AM we are officially welcome and have a short introductory session before the large group is broken into smaller groups - our name tags have our first names, a number and a sports figure in either green or blue - through the course of the training the number represents the vehicle # or rather position in a long line of cars ready for us to drive. The green tags are for Vancouver people and blue for Whistler - we then get a first hand look a the vehicles that we will be driving - they are GMC Acadia - a crossover model with lots of bells and whistles.

We then reassembly inside for a drive easy lecture - the gentleman giving the lecture is both very thorough in giving us driving tips - remember we are all adults who have been driving for many years so we are considered to be safe and courteous drivers - and also humorous - most seemed to feel that it was a good presentation and did pick up a few tips to improve my already stellar driving.

Then it was time for the drive to Whistler - there are five in our car - we are all to do some driving - one person is to navigate and the three others to observe and we agreed that the person navigating would be the next one to drive - I am the first navigator partly because I am the resident expert on getting out of the downtown core - the first driver is from Ontario - his son lives here so he has a place to stay - while he is familiar with the city he seemed to appreciated my directions - he drove to Squamish where we stopped to change drivers, have a washroom break and start to eat our lunches - we aren't on a set time frame other than we have to be at the Whistler athletes village by a certain time for our tour.

I then take the wheel and head for Whistler - we had hoped to take in the Olympic Park - home to ski jumping, Nordic and biathlon events before the stop at the Village but our time was tight we so after a brief driver change we choose to go straight to the Village and wait for the others.

End of part one.

The pictures you see here from my collection that I have taken up to now of the sites that the games are being staged at.

Why we were allowed to take photos if we choose we could not posted the Village ones online until after the Games because of Security concerns - since I will be based in Whistler I will have lots of other opportunities to get pictures and probably with better weather conditions.

Off now to my next training session.