On Monday David, his dad John, his uncle Scott, and I all drove up to Whistler for a two night stay. David and his dad have been up there numerous times before as they have a time share condo there, but Scott and I had never been. John though it would be neat to go up there and see the differences since the Olympics, and we all thought that a great idea, especially since John is retired and non of us currently have jobs. So, we drove up through Vancouver on Monday. We stopped and walked around a bit, seeing the Olympic flame while we were at it! It was still lit, which we found out was because the paraolympics were still going on (until the 21st)! I knew that they were a few weeks after the Olympics, but wasn't sure exactly when. We were pretty lucky to hit going up there when we did because we got a really good deal on rooms and we also got to see some Olympic stuff! When we got to Whistler we saw people wearing blue coats (workers) everywhere, but hadn't seen any athletes (that we knew of) yet. After we got settled in our room, we went out after eating some dinner. We got to Whistler village around 7 PM and there was a huge crowd heading towards the one end where we saw olympic fences up and a big screen. We decided to follow and see what was going on. There were a bunch of entry points, but we didn't go in as we figured you had to have tickets or something, but then one of the blue coats told us to go in cause it was free!
Well, we of course took her up on that and headed in! We were handed little whistle/light/keychains on the way in and were directed to the free hot chocolate. We found out as soon as we were in that we happened upon the medal ceremonies! So we stood around drinking out hot chocolate, cheering on the medal winners and listening to the various national anthems (mostly Russia). I saw quite a few Aussies, and got a picture of the bronze Australian medalist. I was of course also every excited to see that Norway won a silver in Men's Cross Country Standing, and got a pic of that group! It was so cool! It was great, we were thinking to ourselves later that if we had been in that same place during the olympics we probably wouldn't be able to breath with the amount of people, and we most likely would've had to pay to see the medal ceremonies.
I think it's pretty crappy that the para and special olympics aren't televised cause they deserve just as much, if not MORE recognition for their accomplishments. Seeing how well these people do without legs, arms, vision, etc, is amazing! It's really uplifting! It really makes you think, what is my excuse, if these people can motivate themselves to do these things (which is much harder to do I'm sure) why can't I, someone who has no physical problems! It makes you kind of feel like you're just lazing through life (at least it does for me anyway, and I even try to be pretty active).
Just some thoughts. :)
We went back again the next night and saw more, in which Slovakia won a lot, and the US won silver and gold in the same event!