A couple weeks ago I realized I was getting ready to head to Seattle smack dab in the middle of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. After consulting with my wife, I made plans to extend my trip and drive up to Vancouver to check out the games.

Of course, hockey was on my must-see list. I quickly learned two things: that I should have bought tickets a LOT sooner and it’s actually rather difficult to buy Olympic tickets. In an attempt to curb scalping, you have to buy tickets through your country’s Olympic Committee.

My schedule ruled out most of the good games and unfortunately the USA games that were happening while I was in town were WAY out of my price range. I ended up getting a ticket in the nosebleeds for the Sweden vs. Belarus game. Sweden won 4-2 in a great game (I love Olympic-regulation ice)!

I had caught the Olympic spirit! I had to see and do more! I visited several of the country exhibits on display around town and I stood in line to get into the official Olympic store to buy souvenirs. But I need more of the Olympic experience.

I went to an official ticket booth to see what else I could afford and settled on that evening’s awards ceremony. I figured that would be a neat part of the experience, to actually see some Olympians get their medal in person. I found seats fairly close to the stage (albeit off to one side) and was eagerly anticipating who I would see get their medal.

I arrived at the stadium and sat through the cultural experience from one of the native tribes up in the hinterland (I’ll be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to all the ceremonial dances, etc.) After about an hour of singing and speeches and the like, it was time for the medals…all of which were for skiing and would be awarded up in the mountains, only to be shown in the stadium on the big screen!

Foiled! So I watched all the medals given out the same way I always have…on TV. But that said, it was an amazing experience.