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Winter Olympic Experience: Day 1 Lesson 1: Canadians Love Ice Hockey

Nick March 9th, 2010

Last week I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend some of the events at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada courtesy of our industry partners Tourism Whistler.

Over the next week, I will recount the tales and the lessons I learnt…

Wednesday 24th February

After a fairly routine 10hr15mins long haul flight on Air Canada from Heathrow direct to Vancouver, I was slightly bemused to find the baggage re-claim hall packed with staff and visitors watching Canada pound Russia in an important ice hockey match. Lesson 1: Canadians love ice hockey.

Canada v Russia Ice Hockey Quarter Final

Canada v Russia Ice Hockey Quarter Final

The arrivals hall was even more boisterous – the whole place was filled with National Teams, VANOC staff, airport staff and visitors going absolutely nuts over the ice hockey. It was a really amazing atmosphere and I was a bit sad to jump on the transfer bus, as the game was only in the second of the three periods. Along the route from the airport into downtown Vancouver there was Olympic branding and Canadian flags literally everywhere – Vancouver has done an amazing job promoting the games. Even the highway road signs were flashing ‘Go Canada’. Bonkers.

As the bus reached the centre of Vancouver we passed the ice hockey venue. The game had just finished with a convincing victory for team Canada, and there were fans pouring out of the stadium onto the streets celebrating raucously. Lesson 2: Canadians love to win at ice hockey.

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