Friday, February 12, 2010. We’re here at the 2010 Winter Olympics! And it’s raining! It’s all about the weather here—rain jackets and umbrellas are more common than winter jackets and scarves on the streets of Vancouver. As you probably know by now, all of the snowboard events are in Vancouver at Cypress Mountain, not in Whistler. But really, it’s raining at Whistler, too—the downhill skiing race was postponed today. The first snowboarding event isn’t until Monday kicking off with Boardercross, which unfortunately also had practice and training canceled today due to the rain. We’ll get our first look at the pipe tomorrow during the first of three pipe practice days. Click here for the full snowboarding schedule. One thing that went on despite the rain was the opening ceremony last night, of course it had the advantage of being indoors. TWS Photo Editor Nick Hamilton and I finagled tickets at the last moment, and found ourselves sitting alongside the “tabled media”—a collection of Time Magazine and AP writers who typed feverishly at their computers throughout the ceremony, looking up occasionally, not standing for the anthems, or wearing the audience participation Snuggies. Okay, we didn’t wear them either … but we did take in the whole awesome spectacle and loved every second of it. Good times—thanks Canada!
The highlight of the whole ceremony last night was definitely snowboarding. Okay, maybe we’re biased, but the entire ceremony—in front of 65,000 spectators and 3.5 billion people worldwide—was kicked off by freeriding! The riders in the opening film were Shin Campos and Johnny Lyall filmed by Warren Miller Productions, and it was a completely awesome reel with cliff drops, powder butters, and bottomless pow turns in the Whistler backcountry. Yes world, there is more to snowboarding than what you see in the Olympics. Endeavor pro Johnny Lyall stuck the frontside air through the hoops into the stadium and welcomed the world—way to not choke Johnny. And yes, we do like the symbolism of a snowboarder having to jump through hoops to get into the Olympics. (P.S. Hope you enjoyed it Christine Brennan.) In all there were thirteen snowboards involved in the opening ceremony. The remaining were the riders suspended by cords doing backflips and frustratingly not grabbing their boards. Shaun and Louie seemed to be entertained by that segment as much as we were. Speaking of those guys, didn’t Louie, Scotty and Greg look all-American in their Polo outfits? Scotty twittered that he was “sweating balls” in his sweater. In other opening ceremony snowboarder news, among the 82 teams marching out for their countries, six were headed by snowboarders—Torah Bright was the flagbearer for Australia, Queralt Castellet for Spain, Juliane Bray for New Zealand, Lluis Marin for Andorra, Isabel Clark for Brazil, and Alexandra Jekova for Bulgaria, Congrats.
It’s gray and drizzling today and it’s expected to stay this way, possibly clearing up by Wednesday and Thursday in time for the pipe competitions. It’s not looking so good for the boardercross events on Monday and Tuesday—slushfest 2010 wax race.
According to their twittering today, Louie Vito and Scotty Lago are playing Xbox in the rider village, Lago is bummed they’re moving to a house closer to Cypress because he’ll “miss all the hot Russians,” Greg Bretz and Elena Hight are on a traditional paddle tour with Vancouver natives after meeting Governor Schwarzenegger this morning, the entire US team met Vice President Biden yesterday, and they’re all going up and down Grouse mountain at some point to appear on the Today show.