TRI to keep it WILD - Raising funds for Nature Conservancy of Canada

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Olympics Wrap-Up

What an amazing setting for the Olympics. Vancouver is a beautiful city! We're back in California now. Seems like we got out at a good time as more and more people seemed to be pouring in each day. The number of people spewing forth from the airport when we were heading out was unbelievable! We were so lucky to get a reservation at the Hotel McClennan. Thanks Carol and Bruce!

Here we are at Whistler Olympic Park, the venue for ski jumping, nordic skiing, and biathlon.

French, German, and Norwegian superfans. I'm not sure what's up with the feathers on this guy.

Here's the stadium with (L to R) the shooting range, the start area, and the finish line. We saw women's 15k individual and men's 20k individual biathlon. The competitors start 30 seconds apart, and get a 1-minute penalty for any missed shots. There are 2 prone and 2 standing shootings, 5 shots each. The targets for prone are very small, and the targets for standing are a little bigger. In other biathlon events there is a penalty loop for missed shots. The skiing is freestyle, which means they are skating.

Check out the selection of skis. We were surprised by how much warming up the athletes were doing considering they were about to ski themselves silly. Guess they need to test out the waxes and the course conditions. It was maybe 5 degrees C so the snow was a little mushy. If you've ever tried skate skiing then you know how crazy it seems that these guys (and girls) compete in multiple biathlons with only a day or two of rest in between, and that they are able to hit these tiny targets with heart rates around 180 bpm.

A Canadian skier heading back out after one of the prone shootings.

An uphill on the way out. The spectating is limited to a very small part of the course.

J.P. Leguellec in the men's race. He did great! Finishing 13th with only 2 penalties.
Skiing with a gun: awesome.

An Italian shooter in the iconic biathlon pose.

Svendsen the Norwegian just meters from the finish. He took the gold with only 1 penalty, 10 seconds ahead of silver.

Amazingly there was a TIE for silver, so no bronze was awarded. Time is kept only to the nearest tenth of a second and there's no photo finish since the racers start at 30-second intervals. They have timing chips on their ankles like in a road race. Here's the legendary Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen. He was skiing fast to have caught the Belarussian Novikov. Novikov had no penalties and Bjoerndalen had 2! That means he skied 2 minutes faster over 20k. Wow!

We walked (and ran) a lot around Stanley Park, which seemed to have remained a well-kept secret until the day we were leaving. We checked in on this lady a few times. All the statues in the park were prepared for cold weather with their red mittens.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 4: Tuesday

Here's the Olympic Flame near the Convention Center.

We took the Sky Train to the curling center: Canada vs. Germany, China vs. France, and USA vs. Norway. Here was the scene outside the venue:

I don't think these ladies (The "Ice Supremes") were part of the official program?
...and Quatchi the Sasquatch

Here we are in our official gear!

Here's the USA in action against Norway. We lost by mere inches on the last rock in the last end, bummer! This was the second game in round robin play. The guy with the baseball cap is the skip (guess you'll have to read up on the terminology of curling you Americans).


The pants on these Norwegians should be banned.

Here are the Canadians in the process of beating ze Germans.

There's Kevin Martin crouching in the house. That guy is AMAZING!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 3 in Vancouver

We got here Saturday morning and we've been soaking it all in and having a lot of fun. Scott's parents' place is right near the action downtown and we can see the Olympic rings on the barge in Burrard Inlet from their window on the 16th floor. The weather has been great here in the city, but not so much at Cypress Mountain (which you can see from downtown). We will go to curling tomorrow night. More photos later from the other camera. In the meantime here are some of ours...

Scott's friend from high school, Katie, and her husband Adam are musicians and have been hired to entertain the athletes in the Olympic Village and at other venues. What a cool gig, and fun to see an old friend! We had a fancy latte together.

A view of the Olympic rings flashing white from the balcony after Alexandre Bilodeau won Canada's first gold. Go Canada Go!!

Nice wintry weather here in Vancouver. Waiting for the water taxi down by Granville island a sailboat was coming in with its spinnaker up.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Time for Ski Week!

Yay! Today was a half day at school since next week is ski week and it was much needed. We've got to get ready to go to Vancouver for the Olympics! Look for us on TV when you're watching curling and the biathlon.

In other news... I found a bunch of potatoes growing in the compost pile and earthworms!!! Woo! It's a good sign that things can grow and live in there, but clearly I should be turning the pile more often. Hard to get back there in the dark and I've been getting home late recently. Wonder what we'll do with all this awesome dirt when it's ready :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

They're Multiplying!

16 down, 4 to go.

What's New?

Last weekend we went skiing again and it was pretty nice. They were still grooming when we got there so we started out skating through a bit of powder - it's amazing how much harder it was! At one point the big yellow machine overtook us and the difference after it went by was night and day. Anyway, all the fresh powder was so sparkly and beautiful, we had another great day. Today they've got a 95" base with 6" more in the last 24 hours. Ahhh...

Monday was my grandma's 93rd birthday and Tuesday was Scott's 33rd birthday. Phew!

Tomorrow Scott is running a half-marathon in SF in preparation for the LA Marathon in March. Here are some shots of the route where we both run regularly (Well... not so much me lately). This day, a few weeks ago, I was on the bike.

Here's a eucalyptus tree beside the trail. They smell nice. I call them peeley-barks. They're not native in California but they are everywhere, usually planted as windbreaks.

Here's Scott heading out into Shoreline Park. It's the tidal muddy south end of SF Bay. There are zillions of migratory and other shore birds everywhere and it smells like it: Cormorants, pelicans, egrets, and lots of probably more exotic ones that I can't name. Right now duck hunting is open so we heard a lot of POP POPs in the fog. NASA Ames' enormous wind tunnel is just to the right, but you can't see it in this shot. Watch out for hissing Canada geese and their poo!

Palm trees aren't native here either but they, too, are everywhere. This is the next street over from ours. I think they look funny in the fog. Most of the other streets in the neighborhood have redwoods, other pines, magnolias, citrus, loquats, gingkos, and maple trees (which hate it here) instead of palms. Next door they just took down two big camphor trees. There are lots of others I can't identify. California is so weird.