Tuesday, February 9, 2010


We started our morning at Queens Park, and were lucky enough to get almost the last parking spot available in the park itself! That was a lucky break and it wasn't raining!!

One of the headlines in today's Vancouver Sun newspaper is "Welcome to Paradise. Sorry about the weather"

And yes...in the photo above, all those yellow flowers are crocus's blooming. The daffodils in some areas are also blooming and the pink cherry trees too! Spring has arrived just in time for the "Winter Olympics". The powers that be wanted our Olympics to be "green" but I don't think this was actually what they meant....

If you were lucky enough to spot one of the VANOC folks, you could get these awesome posters that can be made into your own torch!!

Dakotah almost at the venue, she was all dressed up in an official Olympic tracksuit that her best friend Anishka gave her for her birthday on Saturday and an Olympic hat I won courtesy of the folks at Wrigley gum.

We ran into Miga, one of the official Olympic mascots. Jaime was too awestruck actually seeing this character in person to turn around for the camera!

Here he finally turned around to smile for the picture!

Next we ran into one of the torch runners complete with his torch and Quatchi, another of the Olympic mascots.

Another photo with Quatchi, we asked about "Sumi" the other mascot but was told he/she is sick today.

Next we ran into the Royal Banks mascot....not sure what the name of this one is.

We accumulated a couple of different Canada flags, one by Coca Cola and the other a paper version of our official maple leaf flag. Dakotah also had a BC flag but we can't seem to find that. The kids also were give Go Canada Go pins for their coats.

We staked out a spot to watch the torch and torch runner come into the park and we ran across someone handing out the posters.

These lovely ladies all ran with the torch today and posed for a picture with Dakotah.

Patiently waiting for the torch to arrive..

And then...and THEN....at 11:12 am, just two minutes before the arrival of the torch runner at 11:14, we looked down and this is what we saw.....awwwww.....all that waiting was too much for him and there was no way we could get him to wake up...

And here they COME...the advance runners ahead of the torch!!

And here comes the final runner, it is Don Benson, the Poet Laureate for New Westminster, an author of a book called Wire Song. He was the first Canadian to have a book catalogued under both the history and poetry section. He is also a pentathlon gold medal winner from the 2004 Masters Championships.

And here he is as he passes us on his way to light the official community cauldron on the stage!

We were quite far back from the stage and didn't really want to wade into the thousands of folks up front so we watched the actual lighting of the Community Cauldron from the grass, they had these large screens in the photo above set up and we could see it very well on them.

The banner over the stage area, the words are from our national Anthem which is "Oh Canada"

And on he slept....

James bought these lovely pins for the kids Olympic scrapbooks....their memento's are growing larger every day as we collect stuff for them whenever the opportunity arises.

Dakotah did a video and sound bite at the Royal Bank booth set up on the grounds so if one day you are watching the Olympics and hear a little voice say "My name is Dakotah from New Westminster, Go Canada Go"....it could be her....

Here is the flaming cauldron on the stage....

Dakotah and I...if you click and enlarge you might be able to see the flame on the stage behind us.
Normally on the 9th of February....one wouldn't think of removing one's jacket. this year is different, flowers are blooming and when the sun shines and you stand directly in it like today, it is warm.....and also my pink jacket didn't exactly go with the red and white Canada stuff.... Truth be told, the jacket was put back on immediately after the photo was taken but I was just wearing a light jacket and was really warm enough despite the date on the calender.

The is the sign outside of the Coca Cola booth. If you click on the picture and enlarge you can read the print. It is announcing the torch arrival in New Westminster.

These really fun drums were set up adjacent to the Coke booth. The Coke booth was giving out really neat little bottles of Coke and Coke Zero with the Olympic logo on them. I didn't take a picture of them yet but will try and remember to.

This young lady was getting lessons on how to hold and carry the torch while running with it. She turned out to be the first runner after the community celebration ended.

This photo is a shot of the runners who would be carrying the torch out of Queen's Park and on it's way to Queensborough. The torch was travelling by paddle wheeler boat across the Fraser River to Queensborough later in the day.
Mayor Wayne Wright of New Westminster and Dakotah.

Don Benson, the poet laureate and the torch runner who lit the Olympic cauldron and Dakotah.

This is the actual torch that lit the community cauldron and Don Benson on the right. Dakotah was thrilled to hold the actual torch. (And Jaime slept onnnnnnnn)
And this is the Olympic torch on it's way out of Queen's Park. You will notice the torch runner is the lady you saw being shown how to carry the torch and run with it in earlier photos above.

One of the VANOC cars.

As we were heading for our car, we ran into another torch runner and she posed for a picture with Dakotah for us.
Here are some of the Olympic goodies we gathered today.
OK...now for some clarification. Had we been given a vote of whether to have the Olympics or not, I would have voted a big fat NO. I am not happy about all the money that is coming out of our tax dollars to pay for this event when so many other things in life seem so much more important. The tickets cost too much, so normal folks can't attend the actual events, mostly this is a rich mans event (IMHO). However, we did not get a vote. The Olympics are coming to town whether we like it or not so it we might as well go out and see the free events if we can get to them.
So now you know how I felt about the Olympics when I headed to the park this morning. I have to admit, this torch run ceremony was really awesome and thrilling. It was fun to be a part of the event even if it is only in such a small way. I am happy we went and I hope the kids will remember the moment through the photos, brochures and momentos we are picking up along the way for them and that it will be one of those "special" memories of something special.


Anonymous said...

hey wheres the pictures of the torch on the paddle boat at the Quay?

Loretta said...

Linda, your photos are just gorgeous! You were sure in the right spot! Did you see what annonymous posted above me? I wish I could have been at the paddle wheeler too. I couldn't be in both spots at one time! The torch went on the Native; the same boat we went on for my Dad's 80th last year! I wanted to see the torch with Robert, so I stayed on Columbia, because I couldn't persuade him to go down to the Quay. Oh well. Today we'll try to get up to Kingsway, but do you notice the ghastly wet weather? Wah! I just love your photos! Lucky Dakotah! What a sweet Grandma you are.