Tag Archives: Olympics

My Olympic experience

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!).

Bowen Island’s Olympic moment

Marching down the road to the dock, Bowen Islanders prepare for the Olympic torch ceremonies the day before the big event.


By Alison Bate

It was dark and sleepy as I drove down to Snug Cove at 5:30 a.m. yesterday, but every house had its lights on.

I parked the car, offloaded my bike and pedalled across the cool damp field to Snug Cove. I passed walkers with their headlights on as I trundled across the boardwalk and left it outside the library.

“It’s like waiting for the bus,” I heard, as I stood outside the library, surrounded in the dark by hundreds of fellow islanders, many wearing red and white or the Olympic red mittens – none of which showed in the dark. It was chilly, and we were all huddled up, waiting for something to happen.

“Ooh, there it is,” and we looked up the road to see an orange wobbly flame, with a huge crowd of people walking behind it, ghosts in the dark. “Why are there two flames?” asked someone in the crowd. The flame or flames seemed to disappear from view somewhere near the General Store, and we resumed our waiting-for-the-bus positions. Continue reading