Postcard from Cypress: Finally some snow

  • Sun Feb 14th, 2010 11:27pm
  • Sports

By John Boyle Herald Writer

WEST VANCOUVER, B.C. —

My fourth day at the Winter Olympics and I finally saw snow.

Not a lot of snow, but snow, nonetheless. After a few days in rainy Vancouver, Herald photographer Jennifer Buchanan and I headed up to Cypress Mountain, about an hour north and west of the city by bus. And speaking of that bus ride, the highway to Cypress has some absolutely spectacular views of Vancouver. I highly recommend a trip up here just for that view if you’re ever in the area. The road also has some spectacular steep hills and switchbacks, however, so for the ride up the mountain anyway, I was more than happy to have these be the warm and snowless Olympics.

In the interest of giving credit where credit is due, I should point out that Jennifer had to leave about an hour before me, because photographers need to get to venues ridiculously early to secure their photo positions, which on this mountain, she pointed out, were a mess thanks to the melted snow.

Even though very little snow covers the ski area other than what they’ve trucked in for the venues, it was still nice to walk around in some slushy snow, feel a little nip in the air, and finally see some real snow (we got fake snow at the Opening Ceremony. It was plastic).

My first 30 or so minutes at the moguls venue was spent wandering around figuring out exactly where I was supposed to be going. The volunteers here, who have been immensely helpful throughout these Games, weren’t all on the same page when it came to directing me to the media viewing area. Oh well, they were all trying their best to be helpful, and I found it eventually and settled in for quite a show. Or maybe I’m just an idiot and don’t take direction well.

Granted I’ve only seen two events in person so far these Olympics, but Sunday night is going to be tough to top. Not only is mogul skiing a ton of fun to watch with all the crazy tricks (quick, who can tell me what a D-spin or a cork-720 is?), but it was a pretty historic night up here in Canada. Before Sunday, no Canadian had ever won Olympic gold on home soil. 1976 Summer Games in Montreal? Nope, no gold. Same in Calgary in the 1988 Winter Games. As a result, there is a ton of pressure on the top Canadian athletes this year to deliver.

Jennifer Heil came tantalizingly close a night earlier on this same mogul course, but had to settle for silver, so when Alexandre Bilodeau delivered gold, the celebration was quite a sight to behold.

Uh-oh. We were just told the media center here at Cypress is closing soon. Guess it’s time to say goodbye until tomorrow.

— John Boyle, Herald Writer