News | 2010 | Lines, Lines, and More Lines

So, we've got this little sporting event going on over town--I'll stop being annoyingly coy--it's the Olympics and all-in-all, it's pretty cool. Sure there have been some glitches and problems (How can there not be when this many people gather together in one place at one time?), but still, living in an Olympic host city where you can go out and take part in all the fun is, as I've said, pretty cool.

Last night I saw the Sweden/Finland game at the temporarily renamed Canada Hockey Place. Lots of big names on both sides (several current and former Canucks, too), and lots of fans who took their cheering very seriously. As I've noticed and mentioned before, the crowd was well-behaved. No F-bombs during the game, and for the most part, people stayed in their seats and didn't get in other people's way. Even when a blue-and-white face-painted Suomi-shouting Finnish fan was sitting next to a blue-and-gold Viking-helmeted Swede with fake blonde braids.

Sweden 3, Finland 0
Teams Sweden and Finland, post-game. Lining up.

But the end of the game reminded me of something I haven't found so cool about the Olympics--the lines (see photo above). Now, I completely understand that moving this many people around the city safely and peacefully requires heaps of logistical planning. I get it. But for me, that planning is the one thing that's frustrating me about the games. I've found many times my knowledge of the city is working against me. I know where the SkyTrain stations are. I know my way around False Creek and Robson Square and the rest of downtown. I even know a short-cut or two. What I don't know is where all of the Olympic lines start and how to join them to get to the places I want to go. Yesterday, the Bay had a block-and-a-half-long line just to get into the Olympic Store. Stairwells at Robson Square had been designated as up or down only. SkyTrain stations required a loop around the block to get in. TV screens (showing the Canada/US game) were either small or off or displaying sea turtles or viewable only in restricted-access areas. In short, I guess my real complaint is that as a local, I'm feeling a little excluded. I want to participate. I want to join in the fun. I'm just not sure how to get there without wasting hours in a line to do so. But that doesn't mean I'm going to give up. Not yet.

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