Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

2010Mar 2

Shawn Upson SPAD’95: Headed Home from Olympic Adventure

Shawn says goodbye to the Olympics

Shawn Upson has left the building – or should I say he has left the Olympics. He has posted some final stories on his blog and here is what was on his Twitter feed this morning:

Just waiting for my luggage, the kids are on the other side of that door waiting…c’mon bags, hurry up!!!

I can’t believe it really is all over, I’m surprisingly sad. Indian buffet is helping me cope with the sadness

It feels weird in the city, like a massive house party-everyone gone home and you’re left sitting alone on the couch saying “wow, now what?”

From Shawn’s blog:

Friday Feb 26: today is a sad day indeed. It’s my last bus ride to Whistler, for my final shift. Where did the last 15 days go? How can it feel like I’ve been here forever, yet at the same time wonder how the time flew by?

I decided this morning to make one final attempt to get into the Olympic Store at The Bay. Every time I’ve been there it’s at least an hour long lineup, even at 11 pm at night. There was a rumour going around that they were going to open 24 hrs for the final weekend, but that’s not the case. This morning was no different, huge line and I had to catch myfinal bus so time for a desperation move — use my creds to get past security, and it worked! Why didn’t I try that a week ago?


2010Mar 1

Julie Anne Keown SPAD’96 Reflects on her Olympic Experience

Julie Anne Keown SPAD’96 has started to share her post- Olympic thoughts with us all. Julie had curling, figure skating, cross country skiing, bobsleigh, and women’s hockey tickets and attended the Olympics from Feb 17 to 23 (yes we are all just a little jealous). Julie tried to share during her time at the Games but suffered a lack of wifi – which should be a crime today!!

Here are few excerpts from Julie’s blog

Julie Keown SPAD'96 shares her Olympic experience

The last 2 weeks have been unbelievable and unforgettable. The week that I spent in Vancouver is something I will never forget. Witnessing Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir win a gold medal was simply incredible. Seeing athletes that I’ve known for years compete at the Games never gets old.

The athletic competition always gets me and there were a ton of memorable moments.


2010Mar 1

Shawn Upson: Explaining why the audience is booing Luongo

Shawn at Women's Olympic Bobsleigh Medal Ceremony

I was checking in on the blog of Shawn Upson, SPAD’95 again today to see what new insights he has to share. Several great stories, pictures and videos have been posted by Shawn over the past few days – here are some highlights:

Women’s Hockey Gold Medal…One of the premiere events of the Olympics was this afternoon, I am referring of course to the Women’s Hockey Gold medal game against the US.  A rematch from the 2002 and 2006 Olympics, our girls were 2 time defending Olympic champs so there was plenty at stake.  I may have “popped” over to a local establishment for the last 10 min of the 3rd period, and there may or may not have been free celebratory shots passed around.  check out Shawn’s blog for a great clip of the bar celebrating another GOLD MEDAL!

Two Olympic Medals in  Women’s Bobsleigh: One of my main Olympic Mandates was to see a Gold Medal presented up close and personal, to be there with the masses signing our national anthem as they raise the flag.  As our women dominated the Bobsled the day prior I realized I would have a chance to see not just Gold presented, but Silver as well.  As I headed over to Medals Plaza I knew exactly where I wanted to be for optimal viewing.  I’ll walk you through the Victory Ceremony in a bit more detail from the perspective of being on the ground.


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.