Archive for February, 2010

2010Feb 28

Hockey Bronze Medal – Finland 5 – Slovakia 3

by Michael Przybylowski, SPAD 3rd Year Student

Michael & The Olympic Torch

I flew out to Vancouver Thursday evening after some (expected) delays.  While walking through the airport, it was amazing to see just how different the Vancouver airport was compared to other airports.  All the advertising was obviously taken up by key Olympic sponsors.  What was more incredible was there seemed to be an Olympic face lane for Olympic personal.  I was tempted to see what would happen if I tried to go through the “Olympic” area, but the airport was not busy, so this was pointless.  If there is something like this for the flight out, I will certainly look into it.  I ended up getting through the airport quite quickly and was on my way to stay with family friends out in West Vancouver.

After finding out that I was not allocated any tickets for either semi-final (a muck up in arrangements), I ended up doing homework all day.  I know; what a model student I made that day.  I watched Canada take home a few medals; the disappointing silver in women’s curling, and the fantastic double gold for Charles Hamlin, although I really hope he retires, because I cannot take watching him race again, win, and watch his girlfriend cry about his happiest moment ever; it is just a bit over the top.


2010Feb 27

Jenn Callahan, SPAD ’95: Watching Canada Win Gold!!

Jenn & Her Family Cheer for Canada!!

By Jenn Callahan (Waite), SPAD ’95

It’s been a whirlwind tour, sorry it has taken me a few days to provide an update!  Our Olympic experience has been amazing as well as inspiring.

We’ve been to many different venues and have witnessed many Canadian successes.

We witnessed Kevin Martin win over team USA in Curling on day 1.  Then went to a women’s semi final Hockey game against Finland.  On day 2 we traveled on the Olympic bus network to Whistler for Biathlon.  Not sure what we liked more…watching the event, or being part of an intensely multicultural and appreciative crowd!


2010Feb 26

Imran Gill: Olympic Fist Bump with Roberto Luongo!!

By Imran Gill, SPAD 2nd Year Student

Imran & the Hockey Super Fan

Another great week at the Olympics! It’s almost as if the city never sleeps (and neither have I). On Tuesday I attended 3 Hockey games at Canada Hockey Place. I had purchased these originally in the lottery about a year ago, and never would have thought Canada would have finished 6th in the round robin. Seeing Team Canada play at home was an experience that cannot be put into words. It was simply phenomenal. It also helped that I had great seats! I was seated right beside the TSN panel’s stage and chatted with them before the warm-ups. I was also right beside the tunnel, and after the game Luongo came up to me and gave me a fist bump after I yelled out his name.

Furthermore, I was seen on TV by friends all over the country during the panel’s pre and post game analysis. I checked my phone after the game and there were about 30 missed texts and calls. What a great day! Definitely worth the price of the tickets. Speaking of the price of tickets, I just sold my Semi-Final Canada vs. Slovakia tickets for $2400!! I was torn on whether I should go or not, but I think it was a smart business decision. I have basically paid for all my other tickets, and had the experience of a lifetime!

Imran & the Olympic Torch


2010Feb 25

Shawn Upson SPAD’95: The Olympic Adventure Continues

Shawn Upson checks in again from Vancouver and Whistler to share his experiences and adventures – including how to drive a winning bobsleigh!!

By Shawn Upson, SPAD’95

Shawn shows his championship focus

I am gaining such an appreciation for the pace of Whistler, it really is like a retreat after a couple days of dealing with the chaos of Vancouver.  The sunshine is coming to an end, so I figured I’d try and capture some of the views of the peaks from the village.  In this clip I tried to zoom in on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, maybe if the weather stays clear I’ll head up there for some amazing views.

On my way over to the Media Centre I noticed that they have relocated the memorial for Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili to a dedicated spot next to the Olympic rings.  Everyone is signing a book, leaving flowers, pins, candles and other items.  He is definitely not forgotten as the games move forward.

Much more including more pictures, videos etc at Shawn’s blog

2010Feb 25

Canadian Olympic Hockey: Go Canada Go!!!

Olympic Games in the Home Stretch

Wow what a game last night! Canada got the monkey off its back in a big way – now it is on the semi-finals for the Men. Tonight, the Women’s team is taking on arch nemesis the USA for the Gold Medal. Hope you are all tuning in to the games.

Jennifer Callahan (Waite)  SPAD ‘95 will be at the Women’s Gold Medal Game tonight – hopefully she will share the experience with us all. Jennifer was also going to be at the women’s aerial finals, curling, biathlon and 2 add’l hockey games (women’s semi’s and men’s quarter finals).  Wonder if she was at the men’s game last night.

Third year SPAD student Michael Przybylowski is heading to Vancouver today to take in the semi-final, bronze medal, gold medal of men’s hockey as well as possibly the gold medal of men’s curling. Wow sounds like Michael will be seeing some of the marquee events. Since Michael spent the past year writing press releases for Laurentian Athletics, I am sure he will be sharing his experiences with us all.

Also just heard that Randy Pascal SPAD’85 (he who waited for an elevator with Wayne Gretzky) will be an off-ice official for the men’s gold medal hockey game!! Lets hope he sees Canada play.

If there are other SPAD Grads out there still at the games – let us know what you are seeing and experiencing

2010Feb 24

More Great Olympic Pictures from SPAD students & Alumni

Swiss Olympic Size Cowbells

Joe Scheier, SPAD 4th Year Student

Joe checks in from Vancouver with some great pictures  including this great picture of cow bells from the Swiss cross country ski fans. “Cow bells are the tradition noise maker of choice at ski races but they are usually hand held. The cow bells in this picture are Olympic size and take plenty of strength and effort to cheer on their athletes.” For more great pictures from the Ski Jumping Venue and cross country skiing look for Joe’s pictures recently added to the SPAD Flickr Photostream

Luge - wow fast!!!

Michael Galasso, SPAD09 also sends some great pictures, including this one that gives a great idea about how fast the sliding track really is in Vancouver.

There are more photos from Mike in the SPAD Flickr Photostream including skeleton, 2 man luge, ski jumping, and biathlon celebration.

2010Feb 23

Waiting for an Elevator with Wayne Gretzky….

Todd Guthrie & Randy Pascal, SPAD85

by Randy Pascal, SPAD’85

As many of you are already aware, I have been fortunate enough to be living the dream of a lifetime, volunteering as an off-ice official with both the men’s and women’s hockey competition at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. With memorable experiences occurring on almost a daily basis, I thought I would take a moment to share just a few of the highlights of the week and a half that Todd Guthrie (also from Sudbury) and myself have enjoyed at the XXI Olympiad.

The mere fact that we are here is an incredible merging of both good luck and the result of years of dedicated commitment to our craft. A little more than a year ago, retired NHL linesman, Dan McCourt, who hails from Skead, happened to be taking in a WHL game in Vancouver

McCourt has remained active with the NHL officials, helping mentor candidates working the junior ranks who may show signs of promise and potential to rise to the next level. Sitting next to one of the VANOC Olympic hockey organizers in the press box, McCourt carries on a conversation that eventually notes the lack of qualified off-ice officials applying to work the Games.

That conversation would open the door. From there, a resume that included some 1,500 games that have been scorekept at virtually every level of hockey, from novice to juniors and university, allows for the opportunity to interview and, eventually, work the Women’s Canada Cup in September on a trial basis.

Safe to say that both luck and hard work entered into the mix for Todd and myself. It is difficult to discuss the experience we have enjoyed without having this column read like an endless barrage of name-dropping

Because of the nature of my role, heading down to the team dressing rooms to get the lineups filled 90 minutes before game time, returning as the teams exit the warm-up to finalize the starting roster, sitting at ice level in the penalty box, proximity to the athletes is a given.


2010Feb 23

Olympic Moments: Leslie & Maja SPAD07

Leslie & Maja, SPAD07 -make a new friend!!!

By Leslie Blachford and Maja Ronneberger SPAD07

After a whirlwind 5 days, Olympic-style, we finally sit down, pre-red eye back to Toronto, to think back on this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

For us, the Olympics was…

… A whirlwind of live figure skating, bobsledding, and cross country skiing events.

…Friendly, always smiling faces of volunteers and staff that you know have been working from the crack of dawn until late into the night, all day, all night, without a complaint in sight.

…Not only getting to watch a Canadian win the first gold in Whistler, in front of the large screen, under the heater, on the perfect patio, but then also getting the opportunity to take in the victory ceremony live, and with pride, as the Canadian flag was raised to the first strains of our national anthem.


2010Feb 23

SPAD Class of 2000- Olympic Reunion!!

(l-r) Leigh Grigg, Andrew Pitre, Joey McColeman - SPAD 2000

By Joey McColeman SPAD’00

I just returned home from an exhilarating week as a spectator at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games where the class of 2000 was well-represented.

10 years after having gone to Lausanne, Switzerland for our 4th year field trip to the IOC, followed by a stint working for Sydney’s Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games with a number of other SPAD grads, I got to kick off this new year – a decade later, as one of the selected official Olympic Torchbearers running through Wawa, Ontario,(
and capped off the experience with some fellow SPAD 2000 mates in Vancouver.


2010Feb 22

More SPAD Students Check in from the Olympic Games!!!

Olympic Speed Skating Oval

Olivia Instance, SPAD 2nd Year Student

It was such a great experience, especially the great events that I got to go to. I saw a Canadian win a gold medal. That alone is something that not very many people get to do, and I will never forget. The amount of spirit that was incredible downtown Vancouver.  I also went to a Canada Women’s hockey game. It was great to see a Canadian team succeed as much as they did in the round robin.  Other events were men’s hockey and curling. Seeing Ovechkin, and many other NHLer’s play was great.  Our seats were great, especially for the shootout. See Olivia’s pictures in the SPAD Flickr Photo Stream.

Sean and Lawren Carroll, SPAD 2nd Year Students

On Wednesday we went to go to see the Olympic cauldron located on the waterfront which was pretty cool to see up close. On Wednesday night we went to see the Czech Rep. vs. Slovakia game which was electric.  The skill level was awesome and the European fans were great to be around.
On Thursday we bought tickets to the Canada vs. Switzerland game, which as many people saw, ended dramatically.  It was amazing to watch Canada play live, and it was a definite highlight of the trip. (more…)