So I'm back from the games - and I'm sorry I didn't post more often - iphone issues.
I will try and post some pictures here soon. What's the best way to load pictures onto gamesbids - can I do it from Flikr?
I had an amazing time and saw some great events. Highlights for me were the beautiful days in the middle of the games with the perfect weather, a float plane trip, capilano suspension bridge, skiing in whistler, Britain's gold in the skeleton (standing right next to Amy William's parents as they spoke on the phone to Amy via the BBC), three Short Track sessions (including the Canadian golds!), The Opening Ceremony, Ski Jumping and just enjoying a great city enjoying a great event. My first Olympics in Athens was great, but after Torino and Beijing, Vancouver's downtown atmosphere was fantastic!
Some final thoughts from me:
Best Winter Olympics Ever?
Okay, so the weather wasn't perfect, and there were some definite hiccups early on, but having been to a few Olympics this one stands out as having the best atmosphere. Canada were - for the first time it seemed - proud to be winners, and they welcomed us all with open arms. The venues had an electric atmopsphere, and the intimate downtown area was buzzing every hour ofthe day and night. Lillehammer in 1994 held the best winter Olympics ever, but Vancouver's has been the most special since then I think. I really enjoyed it anyway. Go Canada Go!
I watched it this morning. Fantastic. So beautiful. The lighting of the Olympic Flame at the beginning by Katrina le May Doan more than made up for her missed moment in the Opening Ceremony. It was funny and really beautiful too. I loved it. Vancouver's ceremonies have been a brilliant bridge between Beijing and London. It set's us up nicely for two years time.
Going to Vancouver I wasn't sure I'd be going to Sochi in 2014. But spending two weeks in the Olympic City is intoxicating. Bring on 2014!
Generally acknowledged to be a poor games for pin trading. The winters are always smaller than the summers with the number of pins produced. Nonetheless I did some good trading - and the trading venues were much better than Beijing!
I thought I'd go back to my predictions before the games and see how I did! For some reason the Canadians count overall medals not golds, so they are third in their medal table not top. They can believe that if they want, but I will be using the official IOC (and everywhere else in the world!) ranking system of golds counting before anything else.
This was the final Top 10 and my prediction for that position are in brackets afterwards.
1 CAN (CAN)
2 GER (GER)
3 USA (NOR)
4 NOR (USA)
5 KOR (AUT)
6 SUI (RUS)
7 CHN (KOR)
8 SWE (SUI)
9 AUT (FRA)
10 NED (SWE)
So I correctly predicted the Top 2 - I note that some people said I was optimistic about Canadian Chances - well they owned the podium alright! I also did well to predict Norway and USA in the next two positions (although I predicted Norway to beat the USA). Further down I've done less well. Austria and France had terrible games really, while Korea have branched out to win golds in sports other than Short Track. Switzerland had a very good games particularly in Alpine and Ski Jumping. China did well - although they'll have wanted to do better - and the Netherlands still dominate the speed skating oval - although they could have got a few more golds if they hadn't made some basic mistakes. Russia had the worst time of all finishing out of the Top 10 - the first time EVER they haven't finished in the Top 4. I thought they would have a poor games and predicted them in 6th, but 11th is appaling for them, and there will be questioned asked before the eyes of the world turn to Sochi in 2014.
Thank you Vancouver, a beautiful city and a great games. You did Canada and the Olympics proud. Only 879 days to go until the next one.