Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hitting the Olympic Wall

It happens every Games. Its nickname: The Wall

And it's a bummer! Lots of it going around, sadly.

"The Wall" of the Olympic world is, of course, sheer Games fatigue that sets in after one's second or third week of nights with fewer than four hours of sleep.
This is the antithesis of "Olympic Fever" when folks who are otherwise Olympic fanatics start to pick mundane activities such as laundry or household chores as "a welcome break" from Olympic activities.

What is sad is that, in a few weeks or months (or even years), looking back at the Games, many will kick themselves asking "why was I worried about laundry when I could have been at an Olympic event?!"

For the first-timers enjoying their premiere Olympics, a.k.a rookies, "The Wall" during Vancouver (and past Games) started to show up in conversations around February 17-18.
Sophomore class Wall conversations in VanCity started popping up on February 20-21.

Senior class wall (for those at their third, fourth or more Games) is dropping in right about now (Feb. 24). And tomorrow brings "the final stretch" to the Closing for everyone (for the brave veterans, could mean little or no sleep for 2-3 days to tap the Games for every last bit of fun).

It's a marathon, not a sprint. Bell lap comes around on Saturday.

Two "walls" for me this Games struck thus far ... first, I hit a brick wall when my laptop crashed last Friday, costing me about three hours of precious work. The second wall came yesterday, after about the third instance of slapping myself across the face to stay awake! I also sold a couple of tickets to figure skating on the street, and accidentally left my Feb. 24 speedskating ticket in the envelope handed to a complete stranger (a $200 mistake -- DOH!)

Fortunately last night I got a few more hours of rest. Today was OK. But the rain makes me tired. Can hardly believe this time next week I'll be back in Atlanta, and a week after that in Dallas and Oklahoma City!

Lots of very, very cool experiences have not yet been written for the blog. I hope there won't be another "wall" and to post the interviews with Carl Lewis, Kristi Yamaguchi, B.C. Premiere Gordon Campbell (press conference) and visits to hotspots including USA House, Visit Britain's media night, the B.C. to Sochi mayor's handover presser, speedskating, pin trading, condo dwelling and new friends made.

Here are a few activities that are highly recommended for the home stretch:

-- Check out the Swiss House on Granville Island.

-- Pop into the Panasonic pavilion at LiveCity Yaletown (both the pavilion and LiveCity are clients of Edelman, the P.R. firm where I work). Be certain to view the video of Sarah Brightman created just for the Vancouver Games.

-- Head over to False Creek for the very fun Saskatchewan House (a pleasant, very laid back pavilion that had some great home-province musicians and one of my favorite Olympic pins for the Games).

-- Find a way into Sochi House, the preview pavilion for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. I really hope to get there (the only "access denied" venue for yours truly at the Vancouver Games ... but I will get in!).

-- Walk around B.C. Place to view the Olympic-colored lights installed around the base of the inflated dome (a nice touch).

-- Count the Canada flags on the high rise apartment buildings. On one tower alone near Yaletown and the Marina, there are more than 30 Maple Leaf emblems on display.

-- Take the bus through East Vancouver to the Pacific Coliseum, and be sure to view the statue celebrating the two runners who completed the perfect mile in the same race.

-- Snap some photos of the Allstate U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame chalk artwork, visible from the corner windows of USA House (on Seymour across the street from Irish House).

Hoping to make it to one of the mountain events on Saturday. Tickets, anyone?

Thank you for reading the blog.

4 comments:

Marsi said...

I've hit the wall! Glad to know I'm not alone. Will now be watching events from the comfort of my couch as I don't have the energy to go out any more. LOL.

Sadie said...

Well said Nick. I can say that I hit the wall on Feb 22! Not bad for a rookie Olympic journalist which must mean I know something about the marathon rather than the sprint but still could not escape the Olympic virus which proved to add to the whole hitting the wall!

Peter Konnecke said...

You're exactly right on this subject. People who weren't interested the games during Sydney 2000 are still kicking themselves they didn't go.

I run a blog called Spirit of Sydney which (www.spiritofsydney.com)which keeps some of us volunteers from the games in contact with each other. It's just one way there has been a positive legacy for us holding the games.

book said...
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