Better late then never… final day of the 2010 Olympics.
Had an early morning and checked out of the hotel. The experience at the Empire Landmark was less then adequate and I would not recommend this hotel to anyone! There are lots of other great options in town with far better service!!
Then we headed to the IBC where I helped Jiri Bakala pack up his edit suite and said goodbye to all the guys at the office. It was a great three weeks getting to know many of them.
We then headed to the Czech House. Along the way, there were lineups at every single pub and bar along the way. Everyone waiting to get in and get a seat for that final hockey game.
We got to the Czech house, had lunch and watched that final USA vs. Canada game. OMG… that was something!!!! But what a finish to the game and to the whole Olympics. An author could have not written the ending any better. I sat there watching the ending, the beautiful commentary after the big win… then there was that wide helicopter shot of downtown Vancouver, as the announcer commented how it is not really visible from the air, how much excitement and celebration is going on in the streets of Vancouver at that moment…. my eyes were tearing up how proud and excited and fortunate I was feeling to not only have had this opportunity to work with these amazing folks from my native land, but how proud I was at that moment, to be Canadian!! It was at that moment, that the top boss from Czech TV, Ota Cerny, yelled at me from across the room, “Hey, Vozenilek… don’t cry…. remember, you are Czech!!” I responded that “I am allowed to cry… that I am half and half!!” It was so funny and one of those moments I’ll never forget!!
We then left and headed back to the hotel for the last time said goodbye to the Czech House, where I spent so much of my time over the past 3 weeks.
While driving back, at one of the red lights, I jumped to the back and pulled out my camera and snapped some photos out of the car window. There was celebration on every corner, streets were closed, gridlock everywhere.. it was amazing!
I then decided to go visit my friends Milan and Romana and after a bit of debating whether to walk or drive, I decided to walk…thankfully! Right down Robson, onto Granville and over the Granville Street Bridge. It was an unbelievable sight!!! Thousands upon thousands of people, singing, dancing, celebrating…
A camera guy shooting with a RED cam.
Only in Vancouver!! Melting pot of people.. so wonderful!!
Even the police security guys were high fiving everyone…
As I walked up the Granville street bridge, the cars all of a sudden stopped flowing and the bridge was shut down. It immediately filled with people, walking into downtown to join the party.
Buses lining the Cambie Street bridge waiting to pick people up from the Closing Ceremonies.
I got to Milan, Romana and Daniela’s place and we watched the closing ceremonies on tv together. The amazing part was that looking out the window of their condo, we were overlooking False Creek and BC Place Stadium, where the closing ceremonies was taking place. We were trying to imagine the energy in that building at that moment.
View of the finale fireworks over downtown.
Milan and I then walked back over the Granville Street bridge back downtown to join the party. It was wild!!
Robson Square fire works and people EVERYWHERE!!
Art Gallery fountain… full of bubbles.
…and middle of it all, this guy, enjoying a quiet moment.
Finished the night off by going out for a beer with the guys from the station. Lots of great stories and reminiscing on the past 3 weeks. They were genuinely taken by the atmosphere in the city and mentioned that from the many other Olympic games they’ve been at, they haven’t quite seen this sort of thing before. That was really neat to hear!!
After I got back to my room that night, I spent a few minutes out on the balcony, overlooking the city and felt very sad for this adventure to be over. The memories and experiences from this amazing event I’ll cherish for the rest of my life and I feel so very grateful for the opportunity to have been part of it.
Lastly, here some of my favorite videos from the games. All put together by the fantastic team at Barbershop Films.
Opening ceremony film:
With Glowing Hearts – this was probably one of my favorites and I tear up each time I watch this!! It was played at all the venues during the games.
Highlight film from the games with a really fabulous music track by Go Do called Jonsi.
And finally, this fabulous summary and video from CTV