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Everything posted by beebee

  1. You think it can't happen to you, but it did to me and I want to forewarn others. I purchased all of my Olympic tickets but for one from CoSport and ended up ripped off. I wanted a Cat. A Men's Free Skate ticket and in CoSport's Phase 2, I did not find any category of Men's FS available. In May, took a leap of faith and found the TicketNetwork.com link on a Sports travel agent's website. Turns out TicketNetwork is an intermediary between buyers and ticket resellers and your reseller is opaque until after you purchase the ticket. Guess I was lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that going through this TicketNetwork, would ensure I was getting a reputable seller. My actual seller was ActionSeating.com. Back in May, I called Action Seating and spoke to the owner who sounded totally on the up and up. I even got some emails from Action Seating regarding the opening of an office in Vancouver and the shipping of my ticket. As late as Jan. 13, received an email from Action Seating letting me know that they were mailing tickets out during the last week in Jan. and the first week in February. Lo and behold, yesterday I received a call from a TicketNewtwork representative who advised me that I was not going to receive a ticket and to call my credit card company to request a refund (fat chance-they opened a dispute, but I paid my bill last June!) When I asked a few questions, the rep admitted to me that they were notified by Action Seating that Action Seating is out of business! This is the first time I've ever been fleeced and I feel like a fool. The good news is that I was never 100% comfortable with the whole scalper business and last September, I saw Cat. C Men's FS tickets on CoSport and purchaed it as a "back-up." I've learned my lesson and want to warn anyone who is still looking for tickets. Stick with the "official" scalpers at CoSport and on the VANOC fan-to-fan website.
  2. I think that the 3 top North American teams are pretty evenly matched though, all excel in different aspects of Ice Dance. IMO, Scott Moir has the most outstanding partnering skills amongst the male dancers. This season, Virtue and Moir's FD is understated and elegant and it translates much better in person than on TV. When I watch them, I truly see a couple who are dancing. My contention is firm that ISU politics will not allow a podium consisting of either 3 North American couples or 2 American couples. I believe that is what kept Davis and White off the World's podium in LA (though it sure came close!) Seems like Ice Dance judging is still controlled in large part by politics (to a greater degree than the other disciplines). So many top couples can achieve the highest technical levels in their programs that the final placements tend to boil down to the Component Scores. And we know how the components can be manipulated. This is just my own private conspiracy theory and time will soon tell.
  3. I say hell will freeze over before we see a North American sweep in Ice Dance (or even two American teams on the podium!)
  4. If Savchenko and Solkowy don't compete that surely seems to leave a clear path to the top of the podium for my beloved Shen and Zhao. However, it would have been so much more exciting to see a Chinese/German battle for the Gold. Without S&S, my bet is on Pang and Tong for Silver. Imo, jiejie's take on the Ladies situation is spot-on. Just let's not forget about Alena Leonova of Russia. If she can recover her confidence after that disastrous Free Skate at the Grand Prix Final, I'd include her in the mix (particularly if any of the top contender falter). Also, the international judges seem to love Alena. When talking Men, I'd keep Oda up there as a contender as well. His Charlie Chaplin Free Skate is endearing and those soft, low-in-the knee landings are things of beauty. IIRC, his only mistake at Japanese Nationals was a fall on his quad and other than that he performed really well.
  5. Before this season began, I'd never have dreamed that I'd pick Evan as top contender for Olympic Gold, but I do! Evan has been anything but streaky this season--he's been rock-solid. He may not be the most artistic skater, or even the best jumper, but he is so consistent and looks so confident and well-trained. I don't view Pluschenko as the odds-on favorite. In 2006, he was able to win with a program full of jumps but devoid of anything else (the Components that make up the PCS scores). No one should pay any attention to skaters scores from their own Nationals. Nationals scores are notoriously inflated (for one thing, that is why they don't count toward World rankings). If you watch Pluschenko's 2009 Nationals performances on YouTube (and are familiar with the International Judging System) you will see that he was waaay overmarked. Both Takahashi and Oda were overmarked at Japanese Nationals as well. To me it looked like the Japanese Skating Fedaration predetermined that Takahshi would be the Japanese champ. Oda was much better imo. Take a look at how Takahashi won--it was the PCS ("cheat" scores) that enabled him to overtake Oda. I believe the highest international Men's total score this season was achieved by Evan--that says a lot. Patrick Chan is a real ? I was at Skate Canada--Patrick skated like anything but an Olympic medalist. Canadian Nationals will be very telling--not the score, which of, course will be inflated, but how he actually skates. Lambiel has a Quad but no triple Axel and that will hurt him. I never saw Joubert to be a great competitor and I'm not holding out much hope for him. Of course, the American skaters will be wildly overmarked at our Nationals too. If Evan skates as well as expected, his scores will be off the charts. And let's not forget Americans Johnny Weir and Jeremy Abbot. If either of them falter, Adam Rippon is waiting is the wings. One thing I think we all can agree on--the Men's Final in Vancouver could be one of the most exciting and competitive Free Skates of all time!
  6. I emailed CoSport asking about the Spectator Guide. They replied that they aren't sending them out, but I can get the same info on line (thank you very much--as if I didn't know that!) I, as London2012 want that guide--LOL. Hopefully, they will be available in Vancouver, same as they were in Torino.
  7. I received my tickets today (purchased from CoSport) but did not receive the Official Spectator Guide pictured above. Has anyone who purchased and received tickets from CoSport gotten the Spectator Guide?
  8. The HI Central Hostel has just released a new block of rooms and beds, including Private/ensuite and Private/shared bath. Seems to be wide availability at the moment. Rates, including tax are $150/night for the ensuite and something like $115 for the shared.
  9. Got my CoSport email yesterday, 12/10, saying tickets scheduled for delivery today, 12/11. The UPS person made his daily delivery to my apartment building this morning, but no tickets for me . Still hoping they'll arrive later today!
  10. Just decided to check CoSport's website and was once again surprised to find that they have suddenly made available a wide variety of tickets across the board. Good luck!
  11. I've booked a private room/shared bath for 3 nights at the Downtown Hostel ($100/night) and private room/ensuite for 8 nights at the YWCA Hotel ($156/night). Rates are exclusive of taxes. I know that the Kingston Hotel currently has single rooms/shared bath for $165 +tax.
  12. Today, CoSport's website announced that Victory Ceremony tickets will be available for purchase in January 2010.
  13. Trust me, when you leave your home one night, travel for six hours across the continent, and arrive the next day, that is the quinessential red-eye. But, as I said, Cathay Pacific is worth the trouble
  14. I second your sentiment 100% Last Feb. I flew from NYC to Vancouver on Cathay Pacific and the experience was fantastic. Clean new planes, comfy seats, wonderful flight crew, private seat screens. It was so fantastic that I've booked my Olympic flight with Cathay Pacific. Since Vancouver is a stopover on the way to Hong Kong, the flight amenities are those of an overseas international flight, including excellent food! The only possible downside for some could be the fact that the non-stop flights are red-eyes. However, this is absolutely outweighed by this great airline and its great fares. Btw--I decided to extend my Olympic trip after I booked my flight and the change fee was only $34.00!!!
  15. FYI--just booked a Double Room at the Simon Hotel at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby. The rates are pretty good--$159/night Cdn. for a Double Room with private bath. SFU is quite close to the Pacific Coliseum and not all that far from Downtown Vancouver. I also read something on the Vancouver2010 website about SFU being a starting point for transportation to the mountain venues.
  16. Want to thank you guys for the great tip about the Downtown YWCA. I called them on Tuesday and was able to book a Double Bedded Room with private bath for the great (Olympic) rate of $156. They still have some very limited availability if anyone is looking for a central location. This hotel has fabulous reviews on the TripAdvisor.com website and received TripAdvisor's 2009 "Best Bargain" awards. Thanks again!
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