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Olympic Insider Report – February 18th

The great thing about the Olympics is that our curlers have been able to meet and hang out with so many world-class athletes.

The other day, for instance, Marc, Ben and John were at the Athletes’ Village on their day off from curling, and decided to watch the last end of Cheryl’s game against Japan.

So who do they run into in the TV lounge but Sid the Kid, Sidney Crosby, along with Patrice Bergeron and Shea Webber! The Olympians all sat down to talk a little curling and to watch the last few rocks of Cheryl’s exciting win. Later on, the guys ran into Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in the Village, and Marc was able to get a Rick Nash autograph on his Team Canada jersey.

Our teams are still doing great in the competition, which is nice to see. Just about everybody is loving the ice and rocks supplied by Canada’s Hans Wuthrich and Dave Merklinger, and what more can you say about the lively crowds at the rink? Just incredible!

It’s nice to see that fans are taking the hint and getting to the rink earlier. There were some looooong lineups on Tuesday morning, but everybody seems to be getting used to the routine of arriving early.

And what’s really nice is that thanks to the Skytrain, you can go from downtown Vancouver to the King Edward stop in less than 15 minutes, and then it’s a 15-minute walk to the rink. On a day like Thursday, with amazing sunny skies and the mountains in the distance, it’s a wonderful walk. Although your Insider doesn’t think much of the prospect of making that walk in a downpour!

The Canadian teams have the most support, which you would have to expect in Vancouver, but the fans have been super loud for all the teams here. At one time you’ll here a U.S.A.! U.S.A.! chant, and then it’ll be drowned out by cheers for Denmark or Norway or Japan, and there are cheering sections all throughout the building with flags waving and Swiss cowbells clanging. And good shots, no matter who’s making them, are always applauded. And, yes, everybody’s doing the wave!

By the way, there’s a rumour going around that Ben was a tiny bit upset with Jennifer Jones! Jennifer gave Michael Buble a private lesson over at the Vancouver Curling Club the other day, and sources tell the Insider that Buble is one of Ben’s favourite singers! Next time, Ben, next time!

Both teams had a really nice night Wednesday as nobody had to curl in the late draw. Both teams attended a super-nice invite-only dinner at Alberta House in downtown Vancouver. Not only are the curlers Team Canada, but they’re Team Alberta, too. Cheryl, Susan, Carolyn, Cori, Kristie and coach Dennis all live in Calgary, while Kevin, Marc, Adam and coach Jules all live in Edmonton, John lives in Chestermere and Ben lives in Calgary. A special thanks to all the people at Alberta House who put on such a special evening for everybody!

Oh, forgot to mention this earlier this week — the boys had a bit of bad luck (or maybe it was good luck?) when they went to the Richmond Oval to check out some men’s speed-skating action. They walked into the Oval just as the ice-resurfacing machines had broken down! On the bright side, at least the guys had some time to relax before taking their seats to watch the end of the race. Always look on the bright side, right?