Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Olympics are coming, indeed!

Photo credit: iwona_kellie on Flickr

On Sunday, my family went to check out the brand new Richmond Olympic Oval. This multi-use facility in Richmond, a suburb just south of Vancouver, will be hosting all of the Olympic Long Track Speed Skating events, (12 events in total), in February 2010.

I was looking forward to seeing the contemporary design and details of the building, knowing sustainable materials were used. Hearing that there would also be some unique public art, free skating for the kids, fun vendors, live entertainment, I thought, “why not? Let’s go check it out.” After all, how often can I justify eating mini donuts for breakfast?

Well, it was more than I could have imagined.

I was blown away from the start- how the volunteers and police directed traffic (hundreds of cars, and people on foot) to the venue was impressive alone. As we walked to the building, the impressive blue exterior with the signature giant rings reminded me that yes, the Olympics are really coming! It was reminiscent of my first visit to Paris, seeing the Eiffel Tower, and saying to myself, "yes, Janet you are in Paris!"

Photo credit: iwona_kellie on Flickr

The building, from a design point of view in particular, is stunning. It is situated on the river waterfront, the contemporary wave roof was made using pine beetle wood, and the public art and use of water and natural plants are all outstanding. More information on the design of the building, the artwork, all the details around its progressive sustainability, as well as its many features and uses, can be found on the City of Richmond website, here.

The vibe of the day was like a snowy Christmas morning in a small town with, young, older, older, all smiling talking and celebrating, a real sense of community! As the boys slept in the car on the way home, I smiled to myself, as I remembered, I didn't eat any mini donuts!


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