When Parker was just a few months old, I was only working a couple classes a week, so I signed up to be an Olympic volunteer in 2002. Had I known how nuts my life would've been in 2002, I probably wouldn't have done it, so I'm glad ignorance is bliss. I was assigned to the ceremonies division and I couldn't have been happier about that. I'm all about pomp and circumstance when it comes to this stuff. 2001 came around and I was in the first year of running my dance studio. Whoa. And I had the world's craziest toddler. Whoa again. Thanks to my super supportive dad and husband (my mom was still teaching), I still got to participate in a small way.
I worked with the props and actually learned a lot in all areas of producing a mass production. It was interesting to me to watch it unfold and how much organization it took. I was able to meet Kenny Ortega (High School Musical director, Dirty Dancing, etc) who was directing the show and I learned a lot about how to keep your cool under pressure. My productions are on a vastly smaller scale, but that experience helped me greatly. I made great friends (sadly, we don't keep in touch), saw oodles of cool celebrities, and even shook President Bush's hand (if you know me, your are probably laughing at that).
Bill and I totally dove into the Olympic experience. We saw medal ceremonies, many events, bought all sorts of Roots clothing, and just basked in the fun of it all. Some people I knew were so opposed to having the Olympics here and left town, which I think was CRAZY. When in Rome.....
Other than scapbooking, I never wrote down some of my experiences. So in the next few posts, I'm going to jot them down so I don't forget them.
Here's a few to start with:
Opening Ceremonies day: We had very little snow and everyone was freaked out. The day before the ceremonies, the wind howled and ripped up some of the hot air balloons that were going to be used in the Opening Ceremonies. That wind brought a beautiful foot of snow to cover the valley and wipe out the inversion. Phew. However, every volunteer was pulled up early that day to dig out the stadium.
I had a great vantage point to a lot of the going-ons. I watched as the dignitaries were escorted in. It was interesting to watch Angelina Jolie walk in to mild applause and then President Hinckley and wife were next. Wild hoots and hollers. So many people thanked Pres. Hinckley for the snow. I would tend to think he had a little something to do with it, or so the urban legends would say. R Kelly sang a song in the pre-show, and was hanging with his posse right by me in the tunnel. I thought he was creepy. Turns out I was right.
It was so fun to watch the ceremonies from different areas in the stadium. My blue jacket was an all access pass to see about anything. We were supposed to stay in a little room when we were done, but was didn't exactly have a lot of supervision. We watched all the athletes parade by us before they entered he stadium. So fun to see Michelle Kwan and all the others. They kept showing highlights of where the torch was (pre-taped), which I thought was funny because we met Ron McBride as he entered the stadium parking lot. The torch was basically just sitting around for an hour without a ton of supervision. I thought that was a little weird. And if you really want to know, I had predicted the Miracle on Ice hockey team would light the torch. No one cares. =-)
One of the funniest things was watching the athletes leave the stadium. We were outside, wishing them well, and a cute athlete from the Austrian team walked right over to me and took my hands. He said, "Hello" to which I said..."uh, Hi" and he was whisked away with his team. That never happens. I basically cheered for all Austrian teams after that. Sorry Bill.
More to come......I'm sure you are on pins and needles!