Anthony on , , 21 Mar 2010 12:43 pm

On Saturday, we packed up the kids and headed to Whistler to take in some Paralympic Alpine events. There were some events scheduled for Sunday, but the weather forecast was such that VANOC moved the Sunday events to Saturday. This was good for us as it mean that we were able to see the men and women’s nordic combined events: Super-G and Slalom for standing, sitting, and visually impaired.

I’ll spare you the story of getting there. Suffice it to say that Quinlan makes the third member of the family who gets carsick, and we had an unscheduled visit to Wal*Mart and Shopper’s Drug Mart.

Getting to the venue involved driving to a parking lot well south of Whister, then taking a shuttle coach to the bottom of Whistler Creekside.


From there, we were fortunate to be able to take the “accessible” shuttle to the venue site (a significant walk, up the mountain for most). Having the baby on my back apparently qualified us. After seeing the walk people were taking, I didn’t mind taking the bus at all.

The venue was very impressive. The grandstands were at the bottom of the ski run, with the incredibly steep final slope right in front of us.


We had a pretty good view of the last part of the skier’s runs, and what we couldn’t see was shown to us on a giant screen.



The crowd was quite excited too! There were lots of international fans. The loudest and most stand-out were the Germans and Japanese.



With the kids, we were a bit more reserved.


The performance of the athletes was nothing short of awe-inspiring. I can’t imaging going the speeds they do going on one ski, a sit-ski, or BLIND. Incredible.



As part of the event, they had set up an area where kids (and adults) could try out some of the Paralympic equipment.

Aidan got to try out the cross-country sit-ski, and had a great time with it!



Aidan and Gwen got to play a little bit of sledge hockey too!




And finally, as we were leaving the venue (a bit early because the kids were restless, bored, and hungry) we saw William Elliot, QC, the Commissioner of the RCMP (ie the top of the RCMP org chart). He had quite the colour guard with him. As an aside, there have been tonnes of Red Serges at all the events. Nothing wrong with showing the colours, making the tourists forget about the less-uniformed security.


A pretty good day for only $15 per ticket! The Paralympics were excellent value, and this was reflected by the number of people with kids at all the events. It’s a shame that it doesn’t get more media exposure.

Anthony on , , , 14 Mar 2010 04:39 pm

I’ll do an Olympics recap post over the next week or so. Suffice it to say it kept us supremely busy.

The Paralympics are in full swing and today Aidan and I went to a sledge hockey game: Canada vs Sweden.

Getting into the venue was a completely opposite experience to what we had during the Olympics. There was no line up. There was no bag search. There were no metal detectors.

There was, however, Sumi posing with his adoring public.

Aidan and Sumi

The game took place in the new UBC Thunderbird Arena, a 7,000 seat arena built just for the Olympics and Paralympics. It replaced an aging facility that needed replacement anyway. It’s a rather nice building. Being a small arena, there are no bad seats and here’s the pre-game view from ours:

In our seats before the game

In sledge hockey, all the players sit in sleds supported in the middle by a single skate-like blade and there’s a small support at the front to provide a bit more support. The players use two sticks to propel themselves along the ice, and the sticks double as hockey sticks for shooting and passing.


The game is VERY physical, with many collisions knocking players to the ice or sending them caroming across the ice into the boards. The game was rather lopsided, and the Swedes started showing signs of being a bit dejected. Here’s a shot a post-goal celebration/mourning starting:

GOAL Canada!

In what was one of the best sights of the afternoon, all the (able-bodied) refs knelt down and gave both teams high-fives and fist-bumps. This was, of course, after the two teams had shaken hands at the end of the game. Can you imagine the NHL doing such a thing?

Fist bump!

Also very cool — Team Canada spent quite a bit of time at centre ice after the game acknowledging the crowd. Home ice sure is nice, huh guys?

Thanking the crowd

On a side note, we got a new camera after the Olympics and before the Paralympics (barely) so all these pics have been taken with our new Canon T2i. Sure does a nice job!

Anthony on , , , , , , , 26 Dec 2009 08:21 pm

It’s been a busy few weeks. We did the Van Dusen Gardens Festival of Lights, the Stanley Park Bright Lights Santa Train, the Stanley Park Carol Ride, Christmas at Maplewood Farm, and the Christmas crib service at St John’s Shaughnessy. Whew.

Today, on Boxing Day, we decided we’d go snow-shoeing. After all, Vancouver was socked in with fog and due to an amazing weather effect called a temperature inversion, it was actually warmer (and sunny!) on the mountains than down in the city.


So, we headed to Mt Seymour for snow-shoeing. We took along a newly-acquired sled in order to pull Quinlan along, but both boys ended up using it (off and on).


None of us had ever been snow-shoeing before, but that didn’t matter. It was pretty easy to pick up.


Mt Seymour had snow-shoes that fit Aidan, and as you can see, he did walk a good portion of the 2.5 km loop we did. Quinlan had a great time in (and rolling out of) the sled!





The weather was absolutely perfect and although the snow was hard-packed and a bit slushy, we had a blast. I expected the terrain to be a bit … flatter … but it was just like a typical hike in the Coastal Mountains, up and down moderately steep trails only in the snow. It sure was a workout, and we’re definitely going to do it again soon!


Anthony on , , , , , 24 Oct 2009 10:01 pm

Today we all went out for a bike ride. This was Quinlan’s first time out on a bike (in the child carrier that Aidan used to ride in). We went down to ride the West Dyke Trail in Richmond — a nice scenic and FLAT trail on the western edge of Lulu Island. Return trip was about 12 km and we took it at a nice relaxed pace.

As you will be able to tell from the pics below, it was quite the fun ride for all involved.

Here are some shots of Gwen and Quinlan. The kid carrier fits Quinlan quite well, and after some time he got used to wearing the helmet.



A rare action shot of me on a bike and Aidan on the Trail-A-Bike. As you can see, Aidan likes the Trail-A-Bike. A lot.


After riding from Garry Point up to the northern edge of the island — and back — we took some family pictures:


Here’s a rare shot with all of us *together*!


And here are some awesome shots of Gwen and Quinlan:



Tomorrow, Quinlan turns 1!

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