Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Photos from the traditional welcoming ceremony in the Athlete's village March 8, 2010

All nations participating in the Games partake in a traditional welcoming ceremony at the Athlete's village - here are a few images from some of the ceremonies held yesterday.

After a greeting by the Four Host First Nations - some welcoming speeches and gift exchanges, national anthem and flag raising there was some brief entertainment that got everyone dancing and cheering.

Sumi - the official mascot for the Paralympics greets members of the Japanese delegation whose ceremony was held earlier in the day under sunny and warm skies.

At 1800 hours it was time for the Slovakian and Czech Republic presentation - we walked through the Village to the Welcoming Plaza and then stood to the side as the official part of the presentation took place. Once the official part was finished and the entire ceremony is only about 25 minutes long we then joined in the festivities.

The raising of the Slovak flag and the singing of their National Anthem.

One final pose and then it was in from the cold - it had dropped to below freezing by the time our ceremony was done. The Slovak jackets were also the same color of blue as ours and they look real sharp.
After the ceremony it was time for dinner and then a quiet evening before boarding a bus and heading to Vancouver on Tuesday morning.



Athlete's Village scenes and some thoughts March 09, 2010

While I have to be careful of what I post while the Games are going one these will give you a little bit of an insight into the Village.

As I have posted previously - our motto is "EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED" and that is true after my first few days at Whistler.

I had expected to be run off my feet the first few days but so far it has been quieter than I anticipated primarily due to the people running our delegation - they are hands on people - they put up there own posters, collect there own mail etc - in fact in talking to some other Assistants who worked the Winter Games they are noticing the same thing - did make a trip down to Vancouver to pick up an extra vehicle and drive it back - the same thing is going to happen tomorrow but someone else will probably do it as I am on a couple of days off - we are entitled to about 3 days off during our stint - as I am returning back later tomorrow if necessary I will meet the Deputy Chef in Vancouver and go with him to pick up the car from the compound.

So far the Chef and Deputy have been doing most of the driving for the athletes and delegation members - both are familiar with driving on Canadian roads and haven't been worried about the roads etc. That cannot be said for a delegation member from another country who insisted they wanted to drive in Canada and didn't get out of the car park at YVR before hitting one of the concrete barriers - they then promptly stated that they were going to leave the driving to us locals.

Took the bus down this morning from the Whistler's athletes Village to the Vancouver one - took less than 2 hours and had the opportunity to talk to some of the athletes who were heading down to the Village to check it out or meet fellow countrymen.

After hearing horror stories about the food I can say that I don't find anything wrong with it - yes if you are picky eater you might not like the choices - generally there is a soup, salad, main entree, veggie, chef surprise, vegetarian and dessert each dinner - so far I have been able to load up the plate - you also get a choice of pop, juice or water with each meal - coffee and tea are available when the dining area is opened - there is also a supply of water available in our check in office.

As a volunteer you are entitled to two meals a day - breakfast and either lunch or dinner BUT as long as you are working a shift you also get a meal voucher for lunch.

The opening ceremonies are coming up on Friday - one person from each delegation can attend - if I am needed by the delegation I will be the one attending as the other three aren't interested or else have the day off.

Going to close this one off for now with some added comments with the photos.

View of Whistler summit from near the flag plaza in the Village.

At the ceremonies plaza this will help keep us warm.

At work in the office.

Another view of some of the housing and of Whistler Peak.

Plaza and some of the temporary tents that are used for various functions during the Games.