VANCOUVER 2010 WINTER OLYMPICS | PHOTO ESSAY :: 14 HOURS + 18 MINUTES TO GO ::: VANCOUVER ON THE EVE OF ITS OLYMPICS

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | COUNTDOWN CLOCK 14 HOURS AND 18 MINUTES TO GO

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | THE FOUNTAIN ARTHUR ERICKSON HATED

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | COUNTDOWN CLOCK WITH THE WRONG TIME

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | VANCOUVER ART GALLERY

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | VANCOUVER ART GALLERY

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPICS | PLAYING TOURIST

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | ROBSON SQUARE @ DUSK

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | THE ICE RINK @ ROBSON SQUARE

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | 2010 POSTER

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | SPECIAL GARBAGE BINS

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | BRIDGES

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | THE BAY @ NIGHT

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | THE BAY: 2010 WE WERE MADE FOR THIS GRANVILLE STREET

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | SOUVENIR STORE @ THE BAY: CROWDS

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | SOUVENIR STORE @ THE BAY

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | HBC PARKA

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | ANTLERS

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | ATHLETES FOR THE BAY

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | ATHLETES FOR THE BAY 3

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | ATHLETES FOR THE BAY 2

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | CANADA T SHIRT

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | THE BAY JACKETS

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | ROOTS GEAR

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | GO WORLD

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | SPEED SKATER 1

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | SPEED SKATER 2

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | MIGA SCUPLTURE

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | HOLT RENFREW LOGOS

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | HOLT RENFREW'S IDEA OF CURLING SHOES

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | COLOUR TOWER 2

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | COLOUR TOWER 1

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | COLOUR TOWER 1

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPICS | GRANVILLE STREET @ NIGHT THE NIGHT BEFORE

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPICS | NEW LIGHTS ON GRANVILLE STREET

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPICS | GRANVILLE STREET'S NEW SEATS

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPICS | NEW FURNITURE ON GRANVILLE STREET

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPICS | SHADOWS 1

HPIM95662010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPICS | SHADOWS 2

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPICS | LANTERN MAGIC

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPICS | TOTEM POLE

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | POLAR BEAR 4

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | POLAR BEAR 2

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | POLAR BEAR 3

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | VIDEO INSTALLATION 3

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | VIDEO INSTALLATION 1

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | VIDEO INSTALLATION 2

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2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | FOR A FREE, EQUAL & HUMANE 1

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | FOR A FREE, EQUAL & HUMANE 2

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | WELCOME

2010.02.12

Let the games begin …

VANCOUVER NEVER LOOKED BETTER (SORRY ABOUT THE SNOW THING)


The opening ceremonies start in thirty minutes. Vancouver’s moment in the spotlight is here.

Like a lot of Vancouverites, these Olympic games have been a big stressball. A billion dollars alone for a perceived need for security? I feel like we’ve welcomed the world to a big party and there’s go to be a huge mess to clean up afterwards.

For better or worse, the IOC circus is in town and it will change the city and the world’s perception of it, forever.

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A while ago, someone asked me what I thought of it all. Rather than start out on a long political rant, the designer in me responded, “Well, at least I hope the city looks magnificent.”

For me, that meant two things. First: lots of snow on the local mountains, (The Coast Mountains covered in frosting on a blue sky day is something to behold; it’s how we Vancouverites know it’s “winter.”)

The second thing I wanted was street banners. And lots and lots of them. The City of Vancouver has long had a tradition of festooning its major bridges and other ceremonial pathways in street banners, and for the Olympics, I wanted lots of them. I got my wish.

The late wunderkind Leo Obstbaum (and the incredible talent pool he surrounded himself with) has given Vancouver one of the most stylish games ever. I would argue that it is the most stylish

The Olympic’s creative interpretation of the West Coast Life (the “Look of the Games”) and the city’s “The Look of the City” have wrapped a cocoon of beauty over an already gorgeous city. They’ve rescued this architecture-less games from mediocrity. The city has never looked so spectacular. Bravo!

2010 VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES | VOLUNTEER BACK PACK

Well, El Niño means my first wish, the snow, isn’t there. And that’s embarrassing.

Vancouver is by far the largest city to ever host the winter games. But folks, it ain’t no winter city. This year more so than ever. The city’s tens of thousands of cherry and plum trees are already blooming. The crocuses are out. Welcome to winter, Vancouver-style. At least Whistler has the white stuff.

The Look of the City is splendid. It’s beyond what I could have expected. Vancouver’s major thoroughfares are lined with Leo’s beautiful banners. There’s a petite paper lantern show at the centre of town, and Granville Street’s had complete makeover. (The design by Pechet + Robb Architects is stunning; the street furniture is a superb example of contemporary Canadian design; BRAVO!). The Lantern Forest and the other light scupltures at Lunarfest is a fitting way to inaugurate Pechet + Robb’s beautiful renovation of the grande dame of Vancouver Streets.

The photos above were taken the night before Vancouver welcomed the world. They show a sparkly, commercialized event unfolding.

The city is ready for its close up. Welcome to Vancouver!

THE VANCOUVER 2010 WINTER OLYMPICS SUITE

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