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Friday, February 19, 2010

Another wonderful day at Whistler

Day 8 of the games and Day 7 of competition

Today I was involved with the mens qualifying rounds of Ski Jumping and the women's 15KM cross-country event.  It was almost hot up there again.  Very sunny and absolutely spectacular.  People were in short sleeves, shorts and for some, shirtless.

It was my first time with the jumping that wasn't warm ups.  It was very exciting.  The crowd was huge and very vocal.  The Canadian's didn't do so well.  Only one made it through to tomorrow's final.  Based on the distances though, I am not holding my breath.

An interesting thing happened during lunch break in the workforce tent.  I sat down across from a group of interpreters.  One of them was the Russian interpreter assigned to the media and doping team.  He looked up and out of the blue asked if it was me that was involved in the incident on Wednesday with the Russian female and all the confusion.  He told me he was brought in as the interpreter as the Russian team filed a formal complaint with the IOC, Vanoc, the Russian Consulate and the head of the International Skiing Federation.  It seems that they feel that I went against the rules and therefore cost the team their medal.  I interupted her concentration before the competion was finished and they want me reprimanded and fired.  I guess they are not clear on the definition of "VOLUNTEER".  I was assured that none of this was my fault as I was just following the direction of my supervisor who decides who the random testing athletes are.  Gotta tell you, I was relieved.  It would be seriously embarrassing to be fired from a volunteer position.  I wouldn't be able to put it on my resume.

Due to my injured foot, I was not given any athletes for testing today.  I acted as the go between in finding the athletes for testing if they were a random draw.  Because of that I was finished early and able to leave the mountain on the 3:30 bus home.  Ski jumping is such a popular event in addition to the cross country that the mountain was incredibly crowded.  They were short of buses to take people back to the city.  Not sure how that happened since those same buses had to bring the people up.

Because normally I get off the mountain late, I have never had to face any of the mad house at Lonsdale Quay with the seabus.  However, arriving back in North Vancouver at 5:30, rush hour, on a Friday, with folks heading into the city for the weekend festivities, made for another nutso crazy day.  The line up for the seabus wound around the block and I was told that it would take at least 3 sailings before I could get on.  The seabus carries 400 people at a time so you can do the math.  When we landed on the other side, the line ups for the trains started.  It was easier to walk.  I took off up the hill and waited for my bus.

 A number of happy revellers on the bus started asking about my volunteer expierence and what a trooper I was to keep working with my foot in a cast.  I was getting tired of telling a boring story of falling down in the mailroom and I was bored so I told then I was a forerunner on for the ski jumping.  (there are fore runners for each event who go out and ensure the runs are ok).  I got a lot of oohs and ahhs.  It was fun.  I think on Monday when I am next working and in uniform, I will tell folks I fell during the super G slalom fore running.

About 2 stops into the trip a man about 35 years old, 5'10" and about 180lbs got on along with a short, slightly chubby woman of about 65 years of age.  They were standing in the aisle in front of me.  I started to hear angry words and then the bus driver was on his phone.  2 stops later a transit security officer got on the bus.  The man was getting angrier and the woman was muttering, looking around with a somewhat defiant look on her face.  As the man started to really shout and look like he was going to haul off and pop someone, the transit officer told the woman to give it up immediately.  She grinned and handed the man his wallet back.  Right in front of me and I missed the pick pocket.  Who would have expected Grandma to be a thief?

Well, when I arrived home, my much older brother David and his much younger wife Angie were waiting for me.  Due to the fact that I am too tired to even cut my meat, they took my brother Kris and went out to dinner without me.  I will be up to speed tomorrow so we will all go out and see some sights. 

I am back to the mountain on Monday.  I only have 2 more shifts and my volunteer experience will come to an end.

Stay tuned.

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