I admit to being a bit cynical about the Olympics taking place in my backyard. I’ve never been much for crowds, and as the mom of two young kids, late night concerts and parties don’t mean much to me. Yes, we had won the lottery and have tickets to two hockey games this weekend — one men and one women — to which we’re taking the kids. But I wasn’t all that keen on joining the throngs crowding downtown. But all that changed for me on Tuesday.
The other tickets we’d gotten were two of the cheap ($250!) seats for figure skating, for Men’s Short program. My friend bought my second ticket, as hubby is not interested in skating and I’m not interested in spending that kind of money on one of my young kids. And going to that event Tuesday has totally changed my perspective.
First, the ride there. The boys have been getting excited about trading Olympic pins, ever since we got started on Granville Island last weekend. So I wore a few pins on my scarf and approached a few people for trades on the bus. And got some great ones! Then, as we were riding on the second bus that would take us to the Coliseum, the driver was calling for people to move to the back of the bus, but a man was blocking the aisle. Turns out he was signing autographs, because ELVIS STOJKO WAS ON THE BUS!!
He got pushed to the back and we followed. He was so nice and gracious, and singed my ticket, and let me take this photo.
And then for the entire ride there, on a public bus, Elvis held court and answered everyone’s questions, talking about what he’s up to now, and giving us commentary on the competitors we were about to see. It was an amazing experience. My friend joked that maybe Elizabeth Manley would be on our bus back.
Then we got off the bus, and even though we had to walk about 2 km around the PNE to get to the Colliseum, no one complained. Security was no big deal, there was live entertainment as we walked, and everyone — everyone!! — was happy.
Our seats were very high up, but we could see, and it was fine. The energy was wonderful. Yes, the food was expensive, but not horribly so, and there were healthy choices. Yes, there were lines for food and washrooms, but they were moving very quickly, so no problem.
The skating was lovely and exciting, and we really enjoyed being there. And then I went to use the washroom. As I was exiting to wash my hands, a woman came in the exit and asked if she could cut in line as she was on t.v. I didn’t see her at first, but washed my hands slowly so I could see who it was when she came out. And incredibly, it was Elizabeth Manley, and she let me take her photo.
Honestly, I didn’t think I’d get into this, but now I totally am. Go to an event — there are tickets on sale at the box office at the venue. It’s really worth it. And who knows who you’ll meet!