Sochi – February 15

short track M 1000,  L 1500
hockey M USA vs. Russia
hockey M Czech Republic vs. Switzerland

With three events on the docket and our tradition of wearing the golden Falcon jerseys only to events where Canada has a shot at gold we knew it would be complex day of wardrobe changes and swift travel. It began with a visit to the Iceberg to watch Charles Hamelin and the short track team. The one highlight of the event was being seated beside the family of eventual Russian silver medallist Vladimir Grigorev and watching their emotion as he raced throughout the day – congrats to he and Victor Ahn.

Our second event of the day was the much highly anticipated U.S. – Russia men’s hockey game. With this event overlapping with our short track event, we knew the transition must be flawless.  Slipping into the men’s room, like Clark Kent, we made a quick wardrobe change from the golden falcons into our diplomatic vintage HNIC powder blue blazers accompanied with ‘Anchorman’ red turtle necks, drawing many odd looks from the locals in the washroom at the time. Then a 15 minute dash across Olympic Park to the game.

The intensity and drama was high inside the Bolshoy Arena as we  witnessed the first great hockey match of the tournament.  We felt quite connected with the Russians as they seem to  easily toggle from bravado to great anxiety with the ups and downs of the game – something all Canadian hockey fans can relate with.  Of course we don’t need to tell you the result as TJ Oshie single-handedly defeated the Russians after 8 shootout attempts.

The final event of the day was a yawner as the geriatric Czech team lost to the Swiss in a 1-0 barn-burner.  Evidence that “this is not your father’s Czech team – well then again, it is!”.

Back to the ship for the 2:00 am buffet and hopefully 6 hours sleep before tomorrow’s events begin.

– Sean