Let the Games Begin at Whistler Olympic Park

The Olympics are here! I could not sleep Tuesday night — I was too excited for Wednesday and my first look at the venues, not to mention the adventure of figuring out how to get up to Whistler Olympic Park (WOP).

Buses leave for the Whistler Sliding Center (WSC) and WOP from BCIT on a set schedule. I had a map, but decided to let some well-meaning volunteers direct me to the appropriate parking lot. I was there at 9:45 AM for a 10:00 AM bus. At five minutes to our scheduled departure, with no bus in sight, I thought, “This can’t be right.”
After asking one of the other loading personnel and being told that the bus didn’t leave until 10:50 AM, I knew I wasn’t in the right area. An astute woman intervened. Realizing that I was in the sliding centre parking lot (no signs were posted), she radioed the other bus to wait for me and then gave me a ride in a golf cart!

On the ride up we volunteers slept, read our books and got to know each other. With everything going on and very few signs to direct me after security, I turned the wrong direction and boarded a bus thinking it would take me to my venue. Something didn’t feel right. I rode the bus with some of the media, but without the people who were with me on the first bus.

Still, it was very exciting to see all the banners, flags, international media and athletes at the Olympic Venue. After a remote check and realizing I wasn’t in the right area, I called our contact number to get someone to help direct me back to the appropriate area to meet our coordinator. Eventually, I made it.

After our role briefing, we toured the Biathlon, Cross Country and Ski Jumping venues. As a former biathlete, I was jumping out of my boots with joy as we toured the Biathlon venue. I was filled with a sense of pride and gratitude to have a role where I am close to the action.

During our tour we were allowed to take photos as long as we didn’t have any athletes in them. I will post more during the next few weeks and after the games begin tonight.

When we parted at the end of the day, it was time to find the appropriate bus to get us home. A big group of us walked and walked and walked past many buses looking for the one to BCIT. It wasn’t there! The buses sit in a bit of a cul-de-sac and we went the opposite direction. With five minutes to go, we had someone radio the bus to have it wait until we got back to BCIT.

My day finished with a second golf cart ride (Thank you!) to the translink bus stop. I know I will have long days that will culminate in some special experiences.

I encourage everyone to go out and enjoy the atmosphere in Vancouver, North & West Vancouver and Richmond. There are many LiveCity events and pavilions to be enjoyed for free.


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