‘BoniBlog – Vancouver is very much alive!

They’re singing in the streets. They’re hollering all around. There’s an incredible enthusiasm. Without question Vancouver is the place to be right now.
The spirit of these Games is something to behold. Vancouver Sun columnist Cam Cole told me today that he’s covered every Olympics since 1988 and he’s never seen anything like this.
Call it party central, but from what I’ve seen from the Olympics I’ve covered (10 of them now) I’d have to agree with Cam.
On my SkyTrain ride to my digs in Burnaby last night, the entire train erupted in ‘O Canada’ after one chap got it rolling. Canadian flags everywhere. There are long lineups too from the various pavilions to the Legacy Cauldron but spectators, from what I’ve observed, have been patient.
I’m also detecting more and more colours from other countries. In fact, my hotel happens to be Czech House and that country’s banners are evident throughout. There are plenty of Canadian fans, there, too and the banter has always been good natured.
The Olympics do have their detractors and that was evident last weekend when some protesters took to the streets. But they’re in the minority.
It’s been great to see virtually every age group caught up in the Olympics really get into the Games. The momentum hasn’t peaked yet and when it does look out!

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Constantly observed while taking Vancouver’s public transit: Rarely does a passenger leave – and I’m talking about locals here – without thanking the bus driver. Imagine that. It’s so catchy that now even the visitors are following suit.

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This whole cauldron thing has, in my opinion, gotten silly. In any other Olympics, it’s been virtually impossible for spectators to get anywhere near it. Here, the VANOC organizers thought they were doing a good thing by putting it close to the populace only to be lambasted for it being in a secure perimeter with a chain link fence in front of it.
Today, the solution was provided with the elevated lookout point and a viewing window cut out of the fence, stretching 30 metres at an average eye level height.
Even before this, the proximity to the Legacy Cauldron was something to applaud. The changes make it all that much better.

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We briefly interrupted our operations at the AIPS office today to celebrate the birthday of AIPS secretary general Roslyn Morris. Anthony Edgar, head of Olympic Games Media Operations, IOC (extreme left) and Lucia Montanarella, director, press operations, Vancouver 2010, dropped by for the “surprise” occasion, as did AIPS president Gianni Merlo (next to Edgar) and his associates with La Gazzetta dello Sport.

They gathered for Ros' Birthday

Roslyn, who hails from Australia, has been absolutely terrific to work with as has been Gianni, who’s covering his 19th Olympics. As a footnote, he was at a 20th Olympics when he was a spectator at the 1960 Games at Rome.
We can never replace Roslyn’s wonderful family (husband, David, daughters, Megan and Georgia) but her little “family” away from home wanted to make sure she realizes how special she is. Congrats, Ros, with best wishes for many more!