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Olympic Insider Report – February 21st

The Insider still can’t get over the noise inside the Vancouver Olympic Centre, and the Insider is still smiling at the memory of what took place Saturday night during the men’s game between Canada and Britain.As Marc was preparing to throw his first shot of the 10th end, someone in the crowd started singing O Canada. And almost immediately, 5,000 fans joined in, and Marc had to stand up and wait until the song was done.

But if you ask all for curlers — Kevin, John, Marc and Ben — they’ll all tell you it was worth it. It was a simply amazing couple of minutes and it made me proud to be a Canadian.

Even better, the fans Saturday night were on their best behaviour. Yes, they were loud, but they were also very respectful of all the players on the ice, and that was absolutely great to see! Keep it up, fans!

I really thought Marc said it best earlier in the week when he told the reporters: “The fans out there — can you believe that at a curling game? It was fantastic. To have that many people passionate about curling — it’s fantastic for our sport.”

The Insider agrees 110 per cent.

More and more families are flowing into Vancouver, which is great to see! Cori’s parents Herb and Dianne travelled here from Lanigan, Saskatchewan, to watch their daughter play, and it’s been a thrill for them, I’m sure. Also here is Cori’s brother Craig and her adorable five-year-old niece Breanna. Anybody who was in the Keith’s Patch on Dec. 12 after the women’s final at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings in Edmonton will remember Breanna dancing the night away with Auntie Cori!

Susan’s mom, Lucille, and Cheryl’s mom, Pat, had a wonderful day on Saturday. The Alberta government has chartered a whole train from the Rocky Mountaineer railtour company to take passengers up to Whistler in the morning and back to Vancouver at night, and they had an absolutely fabulous time! Thanks to everybody aboard the train for making it such a wonderful day!

Cheryl’s partner/boyfriend/fella (we’re not quite sure what to call him!) Terry Meek also made the train trip to Whistler last week and also had a great time!

While the men were on the ice against Britain on Saturday, Cheryl’s team was enjoying a well-deserved rest! Just hanging around with family for the most part; for instance, Susan spent the afternoon doing laundry with her husband Todd! Yup, you can’t ever get away from laundry, even at the Olympics!

The celebrities are still coming out in droves! The other night, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden was here to watch Anette Norberg, one of his country’s sporting heroes, in action. And another Carl — Lewis, that is, the legendary sprinter who has won nine Olympic gold medals — was at the rink Sunday afternoon to watch John Shuster’s Team U.S.A. play Britain.

But any time they play, those Norwegians and their pants are the centre of attention! I know they tried to give a pair to Vernon Davis, the San Francisco 49ers tight end who was in town as the honorary captain of the U.S. men’s curling team.

There’s a Facebook group devoted to the pants that now has more than 250,000 fans. Now, that’s pretty incredible, isn’t it???

In addition to the celebrities, some of Canada’s top curlers have been here to take in the action. The Insider saw former B.C. men’s champion Sean Geall checking things out, and while Jennifer Jones is here working for yahoo.ca <http://yahoo.ca> , her third Cathy Overton-Clapham was in the audience for some games earlier this week before heading back to Winnipeg to watch the rest of the Olympics on TV and, oh yes, keep practising for the Ford world women’s championship next month in Swift Current, Sask. Get your tickets now to watch Jennifer, Cathy O, Jill and Dawn take aim at their second world title!