I climbed out of bed around 9:30 this morning. And then I kept climbing.
8 stairs to get out of hotel, 4 to get on the bus (and off again) and 77 to the Sky Train platform. Sure, there was an escalator. But in Canada, people do not “stand on the right, walk on the left.” They stand on the right, talk (and stand) on the left. So I have decided to take the stairs.
Which meant 82 to exit the Sky Train at the Waterfront stop. Another 4 up, 33 down, 7 up, 8 down to cross the street, walk through the mini-park and arrive at the Main Press Center. I was a bit early, so I decided to check out the Olympic flame. That meant 40 up and 40 down. But without the credential around my neck, it would have meant a climb of nearly 150 stairs. And a two-hour wait.
THESE BOOTS ARE NOT MADE FOR CLIMBING. THEY ARE HEAVY …
In Vancouver, you climb stairs to go shopping, to get to the gym and to get to the restroom in nearly every restaurant where I’ve eaten. Apparently, it is some sort of forced exercise program. Must have something to do with nationalized medicine.
After snapping some photos with the torch, I still had 20 minutes, so I stopped in at the food court (42 each way) to grab lunch to take on the bus to Cypress (5 to get on and off) for women’s halfpipe finals. There, the real workout began. My morning was just a warmup.
THE PAYOFF AT THE TOP OF TORCH MOUNTAIN …
The media center is separated from terra firma by 11 stairs. Not so bad. I set up my computer, did a bit of work and headed to the spectator and media viewing area … 215 each way. Another 35 to reach my friends in the stands. And 250 back down to grab food. Back up to watch the semifinals. Back down to hit the media center and do some work before finals. Another 250 to watch finals and 250 back down after the event, which Aussie Torah Bright won and Americans Hannah Teter and Kelly Clark finished 2-3.
(To read my story on Australia’s Golden Girl, click here.)
Back in Vancouver, I stopped in the MPC to change clothes and dump my boots in a locker (25 stairs) and then meet some friends in Gas Town for the now-infamous Red Bull party (20 down; 20 up) at Shine. Reggie Bush, who was in town to cheer on his Red Bull teammate Lindsey Vonn, showed up for a while and talked football with Olympic medalists (and a writer from ESPN). SBX winner Seth Wescott hung his medal around Reggie’s neck, and Greg Bretz — a high school football star as well as an Olympic halfpipe athlete — was star struck when he met Bush. Which was cool, because many of the folks at the party had no idea who Bush was.
HEY, WHO’S THE GUY WITH SCOTTY AND GREG?
After the party, I climbed the stairs back to Cordova Street, hailed a cab and headed back to the hotel. When I got there, I found an “out of order” sign taped to one of the two elevators.
I could have waited for the working one. But instead, I took the stairs.