I've heard the ceremony's going to be pretty damn spectacular - after the ice fishing debacle in Torino we all knew it was going to be cheesy, but didn't know if it was going to be good cheesy or embarrassing cheesy. People I know who've been to the dress rehearsals say it's the former, so that's good. And there will almost certainly be mounties in dress uniform, which is obviously even better.
To help us get in the mood, a group of us went to watch the torch relay come through Vancouver City Hall yesterday, a few blocks from work.
City Hall, looking almost as fancy as my bike
There was a massive crowd despite the cold and the rain, and the atmosphere was electric. On the news each night for the last 105 nights, we've seen the torch weaving its way across Canada - they've managed to get it to within an hour's drive of 90% of the population, which is no mean feat in a country this big and this cold - and when it finally entered the city of Vancouver yesterday, it made everything feel so much more real.
Sorry about the dodgy camera work - I was trying to balance on a rather narrow and wet wall!
And suddenly, there it was! This was as close as I could get, I'm afraid:
And then it was gone... heading South on Cambie Street towards BC Children's Hospital, where I'm sure it brightened the day of some sick kids.
The crowds have been getting bigger every day
The relay continues today; a big group of people from my lab is taking a super long lunch break at Granville Island to see the torch come through there and get loaded onto a dragonboat for its journey downtown. Unfortunately, my all-day meeting means I can't join them, but I'll make sure I get a seat near the window of the North-facing 15th floor meeting room and will try to catch another glimpse as the torch passes us again.
So: tonight is the opening ceremony, Saturday (and maybe Sunday) will involve some pavilion crawling (my friend who briefly appears in the video above is a big Guinness fan and wants to try the Irish House first), and we're attending sporting events on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. There's a rumour that Stephen Colbert will be hosting a couple of live shows that will be open to all - so we'll obviously be looking into that too!
I will of course be blogging everything (eventually, when I get time! For the latest news, try Twitter - you don't need to sign up in order to read my updates), and I'm also hoping that Mermaid (currently in Whistler to catch her first events) will provide a guest post or two for a different perspective.
I wish all my lovely blog friends could be here - it is so fucking exciting!!
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!