2010Feb 18

Imran Gill meets Cindy Klassen Olympian!!

By Imran Gill, 2nd Year SPAD student Olympic Volunteer
Today I finally took a break and decided to stay in after work. With more events happening, the ONS main office at the MPC has been very busy. We are now putting out a large number of stories, quotes, press conference highlights etc. a day. Reporters are always anxiously awaiting results to come out as the majority are from different parts of the world and have varying deadlines. Also, it is interesting to see some of the questions coming from reporters, especially those aimed at VANOC. With problems in many of the competitions VANOC has been under some heat especially in the daily IOC-VANOC press briefing.

On Sunday I went to the Holland Heineken House after work with my cousin and her BF and was joined by the SPAD

Cindy Klassen and Imran Gill

Olympic Road trip crew. The place was amazing and definitely lived up to its hype. On Monday I enjoyed my first day off by attending the Men’s 500m Speed Skating event at the Richmond oval. Except for the zamboni, or should I say Ice Re-surfacer, delaying the event for about an hour, I had a great time! If the ice resurfacer hadn’t broken I probably would have never met Cindy Klassen, as seen in the picture above. Moreover, Speed skating is definitely one of those sports that is much better live. The skaters are so fast and powerful, and have legs the size of tree trunks. Also, even though the event was in Canada, you wouldn’t have known it by looking at the crowd. I would say over half were dressed in orange (the color of the Dutch). They even handed out orange gloves to fans when you entered the building.

Olympic Speed Skating Oval

On Tuesday the city was a buzz as the first Canadian Men’s hockey game was to be played. As I got off at 4:30 I decided to watch the game outside with some friend’s downtown on a large screen. With all the streets closed to traffic, they were filled with people wearing Canada jerseys and yelling and cheering. I have never seen anything like it. Everyone was giving each other high fives and cheering every Canadian goal. It was almost as good as being inside the stadium.

One great thing I have experienced during the Olympics is all the people you meet from all over the world. Many of the spectators, volunteers and paid staff come from all over Canada and the world. I have casually stuck up conversations with people from Japan, Edmonton, Calgary, Texas, Australia, Sweden etc. The Olympics are truly a world event, and I am enjoying every moment of it!

On Friday I am attending my first hockey game (Finland vs Germany) and also have a few games next Tuesday, as well as two victory ceremonies. Go Canada Go!

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