Saturday, February 27, 2010

The end is here....the final days at Britannia

On Feb. 24 we were treated to the all of the women's teams for their final practice before the medal rounds. Sweden, Finland, USA and Canada came in that order, and the difference in speed and skill was very noticeable between the Bronze medal and Gold medal game participants. Both the US and Canada were loose, but serious on the ice. It was so cool to see Hailey W. and the rest of the team up close. I also saw Cassie Campbell early in the day who was their to get some background on the Swedish and Finnish teams. She was at the cold rink for about 3-4 hours and I noticed that she had no mittens. I went and offered her some hand warmers, but she said that she was too tough for them.

Feb. 25 was our last day of scheduled practices. Originally all of the semi-final men's teams were supposed to visit us at BRT, but one by one they cancelled. The only team that actually showed up to practice was the USA. Considering their results in the semis against Finland, I would say that their practice at BRT was what made the difference! One of the challenges about teams' cancelling their practices is letting the volunteers know that they don't have to come in, or that they might be going home early. Most of the time they get the message, but if a team cancels that same day (like Thursday), all we can do is let them know and thank them for making the trip.
One of the reasons that teams might have chosen not to practice was because their was a protest planned at the arena. Check out this poster for the details.

The Vancouver bike police force as well as some other officers were called in to protect Britannia. The protesters assembled at the park up the road and we were asked to leave the arena before they came down. So, having a few hours to kill we left and went down town to check out the torch because Ethan the Venue Manager at BRT had not seen it yet. We lucked out going at that time because John Montgomery was there!
While we were enjoying the torch, we got the news that the protesting group had come and gone without any incident. In fact they marched down the arena and took a look at all of the police officers and decided to turn around.

Yesterday, our last day at Britannia ,was spent taking down signs, packing, and starting to return the venue to the way it was before the Olympics took it over. We also had to get ready for our venue closing party for any and all of the volunteers, security, ice men, police and staff. We invited everyone in for a skate on the ice, and photos with a torch. It was really well attended, weird to see some of the officers out of uniform, also weird to see some of them (who were still on duty) on skates in uniforms (guns and all) as well! The party would have continued longer, except we ran out of beer and there was a Canada vs. Slovakia game to go and watch!
The Britannia Event Services Team: Super Kelly, Super Susy, EVS Ethan, Super Anya