Bags on seats at Cypress Mountain

Feb. 27, 2010

By Alison Bate

It’s Saturday morning and my sister Gill and I are hanging out over coffee in my little cottage, listening to the rain beating overhead and enjoying being dry again.

Yesterday we spent the day up Cypress Mountain watching the women’s snowboarding live at the Olympics.

Huge buses from California took us up the local mountain; all of us ready to sit in the rain, the fog and the wind for five hours. We waited in a plastic warming hut for a couple of hours, reading the papers and chatting with a Seattle couple, before climbing up endless stairs to the giant stand.

The whole day was like sailing in winter – revelling in getting cold and wet while having a great time. By the end of the day, instead of bums on seats, there were bags on seats: all of us in the stands wearing billowing see-through plastic bags over our clothes…not exactly a fashion statement.

The Europeans were the main stars in the parallel giant slalom (our event), and in the end, a Dutch woman came first, followed by a Russian, and an Austrian. The Dutch were standing on the benches cheering madly when she won.

It was all very exciting though, especially at the end, with the knockout stages. Canada had a couple of faint hopes, but I managed to be taking a pee break when the best Canadian hope had her run (as Gill kept pointing out afterward!).