In the rest of the world, today is apparently Saturday. Which is the first day of a two-day time period called a “weekend.” Here in Olympic world, a day is a day is a day. Weeks are not divided into starts and ends, and hours are not divided–as they typically are–into classifications like “too late to call” or “too early to be awake and writing a story.” The next few weeks will simply blur into one very long day-like aberration called the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Today, I unglued my butt from my hotel desk chair and left my room sometime around the middle of the day (or, “afternoon,” in your speak) and hopped on the media bus to the Skytrain subway for the 20-minute ride downtown. There, I snuck in a workout at the Steve Nash Sports Club, where I have a membership for the next month. (Thank goodness for that! Makes up for all the pomme frites and Nainamo bars I’m eating.) It’s a fantastic facility and, while this will come as a surprise to no one, its employees are all very, very nice. “Well, we are Canadian,” they like to say.
After my workout, I headed to the Nike HQ to meet up with snowboarder (and Dancing With The Stars uberdancer) Louie Vito for an interview. We chatted about his trip to the Super Bowl (“inspiring”), his favorite Olympic swag (“a Nike two-piece warmup suit”) and what Vice President Joe Biden said when he met him (“Louie, if I had your hair, I’d be president.”). I also asked Vito his thoughts on how he feels the luge athletes are dealing with the tragic death of Georgian Nodar Kumaritashvili in a training run yesterday. In December, Vito and his teammates witnessed their friend and teammate Kevin Pearce crash while attempting a double cork in the Park City halfpipe. Like the luge athletes, Vito had to get back in the halfpipe the next day. That story should be up sometime tomorrow.
LOUIE V AND HIS RAIN-SOAKED, SHINY FRIEND AT THE NIKE HOUSE …
After a few hours spent working in the press center, I took a media shuttle to my first event of the Games: short-track speed skating. I’ve always wanted to watch a short-track race in person, and tonight’s races didn’t disappoint. Although the women’s team pursuit was terribly confusing, it was a heck of a lot of fun to watch. And, although he didn’t win (he took silver and J.R. Celski took third), having the chance to watch Apollo Anton Ohno race in person was well worth the long trek to the Pacific Coliseum. And, while I was there, I met up with my friend Paul, the national sales director for Budweiser, and his wife and 16-year-old daughter, who is at her first Olympics. He brought me a sweet Roots USA hat from the 2002 Games in SLC. Way better, he said, than the Ralph Lauren USA hat he tried to buy for his daughter today … for $110. He bought a Team Canada scarf, for $20, instead.
PACIFIC COLISEUM, HOME TO SHORT-TRACK SPEED SKATING AND FIGURE SKATING FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS …
Last night, I asked halfpipe snowboarder Elena Hight to document her evening at her second opening ceremonies in a photo gallery. To check that out, click here (and then click on “opening ceremonies”).
To read my preview of tomorrow’s events, click here.