For seventeen days athletes pushed themselves to their absolute limits on the mountains, the rinks, the oval, and the … what do you call the place where curling is done? Uh. Ice. Let’s just go with ice.
And for seventeen days it was a big party for the rest of us, with things to see and do. Okay, there were lineups for some stuff. But there was lots to do without lineups, and most of it was free or close to it.
Richmond hosted the “O Zone”, with a stage for live music, several pavilion/house locations, quiet places to sit and watch the games at the library (they called it the International Living Room), and … other fun things.
First on Cameron’s list was sighted as we approached. It kinda stood out above the rest – a ferris wheel! He’d been on one only once before, and was so excited. Even better? It was a little ways away from the rest of the O Zone, and so … no lineups! He was a little nervous, but clearly felt better squished in between me and Leif. Oh – yes, we were missing one kid. Kate was with her mom, and so couldn’t come with us.
From the top of the ferris wheel we spied our next stop. This was perhaps one of the more bizarre exhibits: Olympic rings, maple leaf and flame in cranberry. No, not just the colour, the berries. Sadly this seemed to be the No-Fun Zone, as we weren’t allowed to walk on the wide edges of the berry troughs, or jump into the middle, or climb on the giant fiberglass cranberries that were just begging to be used as slides. Oh well, we still goofed around a bit.
The part I was really looking forward to was skating! Cameron has only gone once before, and sounded keen. He wasn’t so keen once he got out there, but with a bit of help got some skating in! He was worried about falling, so I fell repeatedly. Ouch. Ice is hard. And cold. It got him laughing though! Leif held his hand a bit, helped him stay up, and Cameron skittered between us for a little bit. Best of all, he wanted off the ice so badly that he skated a meter or so, skated well too, hauling me behind him. Okay, that wasn’t quite best, but it feels a little odd to say that best of all was that he fell. He did, and he responded perfectly – he grinned, and got right back up again. He doesn’t remember now wanting off the ice, he remembers falling and laughing about it, how it wasn’t so bad. He remembers that he wanted to be good at it, but wasn’t, and has to learn. He wants to go again!