With the Games beginning in earnest, fans from around the world donned their red mittens and flocked on to the streets of Vancouver in record numbers, eager to soak up the Olympic experience.
While adverse weather caused the postponement of the men’s downhill event, it wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of the Olympic fans who poured on to Vancouver’s streets in record numbers to soak up the atmosphere on the first full day of competition.Clutching umbrellas to shield themselves from the rain, and wearing the red Olympic mittens that had already become a must-have fashion accessory, fans flocked to the newly-unveiled Olympic cauldron on the city’s waterfront. And while there were supporters from all over the world, it was undoubtedly the proud Canadians who were most noticeable. With shoulders draped patriotically in flags, they refused to let the inclement conditions spoil the start of their two-week- long Olympic party.“It’s such a proud moment to see the flame in my home city, and the rain was never going to stop me from coming to see it,” said local fan Matt Eastward. Kacey Newell, who was visiting the flame with her husband and young child, echoed his sentiments: “We’ve been counting down to the Games for years and now that it’s finally here it’s almost impossible to find words to describe the excitement!” Elsewhere in the city, fans queued in Robson Square for the last remaining Olympic tickets, while others partied at the two Livecity sites in downtown and Yaletown, or stood patiently in line at the Olympic superstore. In total, a record 150,000 passengers made trips on the city’s SkyTrain transport network, as Vancouver thronged with excited Olympic fans.