As I alluded to earlier, we had tickets to the Gold Medal Hockey Game at the Winter Olympics, a.k.a. the event Canada had been waiting for, so we set out for a long but exhilarating weekend trip to Vancouver.
Plane tickets between Toronto and Vancouver during the Olympics ranged from $600 – $1,000+ during the games, and the $600 ones were hard to find. So we bit the bullet and did a Buffalo to Seattle trip, with a lot of driving in between.
We left Toronto at 2:30AM on Friday, and got to my house in Surrey at 4:00PM EST…long journey, indeed! We stopped at my mom’s work for a delicious lunch, and continued to my house for a quick nap before the Canada-Slovakia game. Due to the fact that my mother does not subscribe to cable (but she listened to the game on the radio!), we ended up watching the game downtown at one of the LiveCity locations. It was drizzling the whole time, which made it quite an interesting experience for the non-Vancouverites in my group, but it was phenomenal to share the experience with lots of Canadian fans huddled in the rain.
A little hometown pride just after we crossed the border
The big event came on Sunday morning, when we eagerly showed up at GM Place, or Canada Hockey Place, at quarter past ten – the game didn’t start until 12:15PM. The enthusiasm had all of us on pin cushions that we had to leave Surrey ASAP (well, except me, because I had caught a cold and wanted to stay in bed until the last possible minute).
My favourite sign. If you think about it hard enough, it could have been a double-entendre because of the Canadian gold mines….but that’s way too much thinking, I know. And way too geeky. I know.
Our seats were in the 300’s, and considering the categorization of tickets and the face value, I found it slightly disappointing when we realized where our seats were. There were 3 categories for ticket prices, and I think if there were 4, it might’ve been clearer for people to decide on their bidding price – i.e. 2 categories in the lower bowl and 2 categories in the upper bowl.
That said, once the game started, it felt like I was right there in the middle of the action, anyway. I think I took 10 pictures altogether during the 60-minute regulation time, including during intermissions – it was that captivating.
Face-off at 12:15
During the last intermission between third period and overtime, you could tell the crowd was tense. The split between Canadian and American fans was about 70-30 at the game, I would say, and everywhere you looked, people were holding their breaths. There were fewer people lining up for drinks, fewer visits to the bathroom, and fewer lighthearted conversations between fans.
It’s OK, though, we won. If there was one medal Canada really really really really really wanted, with a cherry on top, this was it. AND OMG WE GOT IT!!
The moment I realized we had won. No good pictures needed. I love how blurry this is…it reminds me of jumping up and down, having a giant group hug, and celebrating with strangers all around me.
We joined the crowds at Robson Square – it was a fantastic party!
Our experience at the Olympics turned out in the best way possible. I could not have asked for a better ending to the game, with all the tension building up for a great big hurrah to finish off our weekend. Being a part of the crowd that celebrated with the team moments after the game finished is something that I will always remember. It was a heart-thudding, never-ending-smiling kind of experience that brings goosebumps now when I look back :-)
How did you celebrate the win, fellow Canadians?