Photowalk: -20 Days to Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

I know that at time of publishing this post, the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics are eight days away. The photos contained in this post are from January 23rd, just twenty days before the opening ceremonies. Rebecca and I wandered on foot from the Olympic Village to downtown with our cameras.

A lot of what you see in the post has changed quite a bit, but I thought it would be interesting to have these posted for the sake of Vancouver history.

-20 Days to Vancouver 2010

This is one of the gates to get you into the Olympic Village. It reminds me of when I traveled to Berlin with my parents, brother, and sister-in-law and visited Checkpoint Charlie. Inviting, don’t you think?

-20 Days to Vancouver 2010

I heard this would happen, and no building is too large or tall to put wrap on.

-20 Days to Vancouver 2010

I pass by the official countdown clock everyday and never forget to sneak a peak of it. And more recently, I too was a tourist in my own city.

-20 Days to Vancouver 2010

I used to work in the building pictured above. My first radio gig in Vancouver.

-20 Days to Vancouver 2010

Steps out of Robson Square. While they looked painted, they’re actually wrapped.

-20 Days to Vancouver 2010

The Robson Square Ice Rink in the opposite direction of the stairs. This will probably be a stopping point more than a few times depending on the mayhem going on here.

-20 Days to Vancouver 2010

Granville Street with art installations and an ode to Hole In The Wall. Well, not really, but you could just imagine if it was.

-20 Days to Vancouver 2010

-20 Days to Vancouver 2010

These venue signs went up practically overnight. I’d like to see them keep these with references to popular landmarks in Vancouver after the games.

-20 Days to Vancouver 2010

What do you do with a building in downtown Vancouver that is under complete renovation? You wrap a huge, Canadian flag around it.

-20 Days to Vancouver 2010

Canada Place is for the media and accredited guests. Getting down here during the games will be tough unless you’re on foot.

-20 Days to Vancouver 2010

No one is completely sure what’s inside these walls. It might be a “satellite cauldron” for the Olympic flame. Some even say this is where the actual flame will reside, which isn’t crazy being that the Olympic stadium, BC Place, is a dome.

-20 Days to Vancouver 2010

Finally, the “VANOC Only” signs that are popping up all over the city. Unless you have that going for you, driving should be the last thing on your mind during these games in Vancouver.

Kudos to John Biehler who let me borrow his 35mm lens for some of these shots. You can see the entire set of photos from this photowalk on Flickr.

I’ll be posting more photos over the next few weeks as my adventures with True North Media House will see us doing photowalks among the other various things we get ourselves into. I don’t usually put explanations on my photos, but I’m doing this more for my family and friends who are watching these events from afar. I wish they could all be here to experience this once in a lifetime event, and this is my best attempt to share that with them as well as the world.

Where will I be for Vancouver 2010?

Rebecca made a post the other day asking this question, and this past week has been littered with fleeting thoughts of, “holy crap, the games are actually here.”

BC Place staging tents

I decided to walk home after work the other night, and all of the telltale signs are here. Tents, banners, decorations, etc.

Fleet of official vehicles outside Olympic Village tent

For myself, it’s always been a goal in the back of my head to witness some form of Olympics games in someway. Moving to Vancouver in 2005, I knew my chance was going to be pretty good to get into the mix, but it’s actually here.

2010 is this year. We’ve been waiting for the date to read that way for what seems like forever, and now it’s actually upon us.

Olympic Village ready to go

The Olympic Village that I watched go from industrial wasteland to a tiny city is basically done.

Waterfront Canada Line Station by Miss604 on Flickr

I’ve been taking and loving the Canada Line during my daily work commutes.

Keeping out of BC Place

BC Place is still being kept under a shroud of mystery, and I still hope they blow the lid off that place during the opening ceremonies, someway and somehow.

This still doesn’t answer the question of where I will be once February 12th rolls around. The truth of the matter is that I love the Olympic games, and I always have. For as long as I can remember, I would stay up as late as I could to watch the coverage, no matter what the event.

I can remember L.A., Lillehammer, Albertville, Nagano, Soeul, Calgary, Atlanta, Sydney, Barcelona, Torino, Beijing, and Athens, and that’s all off the top of my head, no Google searches or Wikipedia trolling.

I haven’t forgotten about the politics on the local and worldwide scale. They are always there, and I can’t forget about the issues of homelessness in Vancouver nor the hefty price tag that has come with these games. Nothing I can say in a blog post could answer all of those problems, but I will be watching closely once everything is done to make sure those promises by VANOC are held accountable.

That being said, my hope and dream is to absorb the atmosphere that the games will bring upon Vancouver. I’m not sure where that might lead me, but we’ll ride the wave and end up where we end up. Be it total chaos to amazing opportunities, people, and new friends, I’ve been enlightened with stories by others who have been to games past. It prepares you as much as opens up avenues to all sorts of other questions.

I don’t know what to expect. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing nor when I’ll be doing it. It’s the surprise that I think I’m looking forward to the most. Never say never, let whatever happens happen, and hang on for the ride.

I’ll have my camera wherever I go, and the laptop won’t be far behind. Photos, video, audio, and blog posts doing their best to share what I see and do in the craziness that is downtown Vancouver, home of the 2010 winter games.

Social Media and the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Photo by Roland Tanglao
Photo credit: Roland Tanglao on Flickr

On Thursday of last week, I had the opportunity to attend a meeting of the minds, if you will, regarding an endeavor that is taking the social media scene in Vancouver and bringing the 2010 Winter Olympics together.

The task, needless to say, is daunting. The plan is in its infant stages, and the melting pots of minds, which there are many of, are heading down territories that are vastly uncharted. Bloggers, podcasters, photographers, video enthusiasts, and anything else you can use to convey a story are looking to see how they can interact with the biggest, global event to hit Vancouver so far this century, possibly ever.

The discussions are only just beginning, but there is a wealth of commitment from people who are interested in being apart of something new and different. The meeting last week had nearly fifty people in attendance, trying to figure out what the current scheme is while also finding out how they can get involved.

Photo by Roland Tanglao
Photo credit: Roland Tanglao on Flickr

To find out more about what was talked about, please check out Raul’s thorough live blog of the night as well as Dave’s informative post at about the next steps and how you can get involved. I hope to write more about my thoughts on this matter in the coming days and weeks.

Comparing nearly six months progress of the Vancouver Olympic Village

I have a mild obsession with the Olympics. The fascination has been with me for as long as I can remember, so it’s no surprise that I watch all the construction with anticipation, all political arguments aside. I just love the games. Period.

So almost six months ago, I took this photo on my way into work in the morning.

Daily pass of the Olympic Village

This afternoon, I took this photo on my walk home.

Overall shot from Cambie Bridge

The progress of this small city is astounding. We watch it everyday at work, and I battle the lines at the various places to eat near work on a constant basis. No matter when or where, there is always at least one construction guy or gal either buying coffee or having a bite to eat. The day I don’t have to cross the street without the fear of impending doom from a cement truck barreling down the street will be a strange day, especially with that Canada Line going in just a few blocks away.

Here’s another neat comparison of a photo that I took back in January, looking towards Science World from the Cambie Bridge.

Very Vancouver

And then, today, looking from about the same point, slightly more zoomed in.

Can't see Science World anymore

I’d say that’s progress, but here’s a couple more photos for fun.

Crews at work

Looking down the streets

You can see more here.