Kev's friends arrived at the house about 12:45 and Cody-Anne got home from work soon after. Cody-Anne changed her clothes and we were on our way. This time the kids drove us to the SkyTrain and dropped us off. They continued on themselves in another direction.
The SkyTrain took us to buses waiting to transport us to The Pacific Colesium.
This was a much easier walk and we got there in lots of time. There were several entertainers along the way and these crazy folks getting kids to perform and giving them a score the old school way!.
Another round of security, ticket scanning and into the revolving doors we leapt. To keep the tradition going we took a pee break, got some hot dogs and made our way to our seats.
To think that I was soon going to be seeing an event in real life that I had only ever dreamed of seeing suddenly overwhelmed me. I was here! THIS IS IT!!! The ice sparkled and the Olympic logo in the middle gleamed.
The little girls who collect the flowers and other things thrown to the skaters filed in and I thought, "What an amazing honour for these little skaters. Definitely something they will remember all their lives." They acted so professionally all evening.
I had to take in the big TV cameras,
the rows and rows of press boxes, the judges stand (although we couldn't see them very well from our seats) and the information boards that gave us information on each skater. Then there was a countdown and the TV stations joined us and the first round of skaters came onto the ice to warm up.
Then the rest of the evening unfolded flawlessly before us.
There were to be 30 skaters and they would skate in groups of 5 with breaks between every 10 to manicure the ice. Before we left home we had the TV on and saw that Evgeny Plushenko would be back this year. I hadn't heard anything about that up to this point and neither had Mar so were were a bit surprised. He skated as early as the second group. He came in at 37th in the world and then just basically blew everyone away. He's never been my favorite skater. Although his jumps are perfection, he seems cold and un-emotionless to me. He doesn't have good footwork either BUT in the past few years, and certainly the last Olympics, it's been all about jumps and spins at which Plushenko is the master. He skated pretty much flawlessly setting the standard high.
Right about now you may have thought I've forgotten the title of this blog - No Orange Here! - well here it comes. While the Richmond Oval was crammed to the hilt with Dutch fans decked out in their ridiculous costumes, there wasn't an orange fan to be found Tuesday night in the Pacific Colesium. Not one. Well, I found this guy but Mar said he ws just a poser.
The Japanese were in abundance though and they had excellent skaters in the line up. Several young guys we will see alot of in the future I'm sure.
Canada's young skater Vaughn did ok but fell and bobbled taking him out of contention. Patrick Chan, Canada's only hope for a medal but not really a contender did really well and ended the short program in 7th place.
Soon Johnnie Weir skated, pink laces and all,
then, Evan, Lysachek, my personal favorite for the gold.
His tears of elation at the conclusion of his program said it all. He was thrilled with his effort. The crowd celebrated with him.
Mar was sitting next to a lady who worked in the American skating community in some capacity and knew all the skaters personally and filled Mars ears with an ongoing commentary which added more spice to our audience experience. Behind me were 3 older ladies and a man from northern California who predicted what each skaters score was going to be before it was announced. I had fun just listening to them. They had a HUGE American flag they held up for Johnnie, Jeremy and Evan and I turned and got this great picture of it.
Mar and I had the Canadian flag draped over the seats in front of us as they were empty.
It was kind of bittersweet when we had to leave the rink that evening as we knew we would only see the long program on TV and that our Olympic adventure would soon be drawing to a close.
Another short walk to the buses chatting with others along the way, a now familiar ride on the SkyTrain and this time the most dreaded part of the whole day. We had to catch another bus after the SkyTrain and then walk back to Cody-Anne's from there. She and Kev were still out with their friends and wouldn't be home until later. Getting lost and wandering around in Surrey soon to be blathering, blubbering middle aged women crossed our minds. We hit Tim Horton's right at the bus stop and then made our way up the dark, quiet streets. Now, it's 11:30 at night, mind you, and the streets are deserted, but it was kind of strange to be in such quiet after having been surrounded by the "teeming hoards" as they say - in the skating rink, on the walk to the bus, in the bus and SkyTrain and back in the bus again. As we sipped our coffee and walked along we just talked about what fun we've been having all week and the almost surreal feeling it gave us to be here. Here, in the The True North Strong and Free. Here, where despite some problems with protestors, a terrible, tragic accident, a silly fence around a flaming Olympic icon and the uncooperative weather, Vancouver has made the rest of Canada proud and Canada has shown the world what a great country it is. Here, where my heart truly sings and my youth pours back to engulf me. Here, where I know my mom would have loved to have been with us tonight and here, where God kissed the earth and used his best bits to make it and then used the rest on the other parts of the world.
So, no Orange here? That's ok. I forgive them.