I was lucky to attend the Atlanta 96 Olympics when my sister was dancing in the opening and closing ceremonies. However, Kelly had not been to an Olympics.
In February I was basing out of Seattle for 2 weeks. Every night Kelly and I watched the Olympics religiously. Kelly decided we should pop up to Vancouver for the day to just experience the festivities. I called my friend Chris and had my passport FedEx'ed to me and we decided on the day. Not to my surprise, Kelly didn't want to just visit Vancouver but wanted to see an event. She looked for days until she found the perfect tickets...Curling (or shuffleboard with ice, brooms, and big granite rocks).
At 7am on Sunday, February 28th we made a run for the boarder. Our trip into Vancouver was easy--flew through the boarder and found cheap parking downtown. After picking up our tickets we wandered around taking in the shirts, jackets and red mittens. While the Olympic Flame was beautiful, the fact it was behind a fence (referred to as a concentration camp) was troubling.
After fighting our way through the official souvenir shop (and failing to find mittens) we headed to the Olympic Center for Curling. 4 sheets of ice, 16 stones per sheet, and 4 (wo)man teams. Although I had been watching curling daily and reading up on it, it was still intimidating. We bought a radio to "listen in" on what was happening and to help us understand the matches. While it was hard to follow 3 matches at once (much harder than on TV), it was amazing to be part of the Olympics and a "sport" that most people hadn't heard of 2 weeks earlier. The Americans lost badly and the Canadians were also beaten in an upset. However we felt like winners for getting to Vancouver and taking part in a once in a lifetime experience (well, maybe twice a lifetime for me).
We're ready to book our tickets to Sochi in 2014!