2.14.2006

Olympic Weekend By Jamie Milhrad

Hey, burnt out from writing so Im passing along the email Jamie wrote. Blaze is me, or rather, it is my israeli doppleganger.



Well, i just had the BEST weekend in torino with blaze and jen!  Best of all, blaze took jen and i to a kelly clarkson concert as an early valentine’s day present, i mean, how sweet is blaze?  Did anyone know he was so romantic? But more on that later:)

So, brian and jen went to opening ceremonies Friday night, but i don’t get out of work until 730 and they started at 8pm, so i watched them on TV.  So jealous they went...but i met them first thing sat morning on the 818 train from milan...got to hotel nizza at 10:45am where i was promptly greeted by paolo, mine and jen’s new italian boyfriend (he loves us...he’s not really out italian bf)...so psyched to see brian and jen...who are on quite the whirlwind tour of europe, but i’m absolutely sure that all anyone does at work is check blaze’s blog, so no one needs to be caught up.

So, we hung out for a little in the hotel, then we put on layers and walked around the Olympic Village a little before we went to 5000m men’s speed skating...kind of a random first event, but there wasn’t so much going on Saturday because it was the first day.  So we go to speed skating and EVERYONE is wearing orange...like a big huge sea of orange people.  Turns out the orange people = dutch people, and speed skating is the ONLY event that dutch people are good at.  As a result, the entire Dutch population puts on orange clothing, of which they apparently have closets full, and come to torino to show their support for the Dutch speed skaters (who are like rock stars in the netherlands).  First of all, Dutch people are so nice.  And this is why i feel kind of bad, but yeah! We beat them!  We got the gold medal, obv, and Chad Hedrick (who is super super cute, see below) took the gold medal from right under their dutch noses!  

They got silver, don’t feel too bad for them.  It was so exciting...and after chad hedrick was doing his victory lap around the ring, he looked right at us and gave us a little YEAH!!!!  (just like the pic above) It was amazing.  We didn’t even have an american flag at that point...but we were screaming for him like crazy.  It’s SO much more fun when you win things!

So, we got out of speed skating at like 8 something, and decided we had to go to the heinekin house where all the dutch people were going.  Each country apparently has their own house at the Olympics...we’re not positive about this, but we think it’s true.  Anyway, most houses don’t let all nationalities come in (that’s the spirit of the olympics, huh?) but the heinekin house totally does (am i spelling heinekin wrong?)...even though we weren’t so sure they were going to let americans in after we beat them on their big day.  No problems..after we FOUND the heinekin house (following orange people is not as easy as it sounds) it was soo fun...cheap beer, lots of fun orange people...a free rock concert (we were the only people who knew the words to all the songs, of course...which we didn’t get because apparently the band singing was the most famous band in the netherlands?) AND free ice skating.  Free drunk ice skating! I mean, amazing.  

Then we left around 11:30 and ate dinner...which was some sort of mystery meat on a roll with mystery vegetables and mystery cheese from a little truck outside the heinekin house.  Brian had two.  Yikes. This from a boy who didn’t like the food in israel, but he likes mystery sandwiches in italy (blaze is eating by the way, but he’s on like a one-meal-a-day plan)

Went back to the hotel to change and go out, but passed out instead. Being with blaze and jen in italy is like being with shakar and dinah in israel...it’s EXHAUSTING.

Sunday morning we were going to wake up super early to go to Bardoneccia (Bar-Dow-Neck-E-Ah) where skiing and snowboarding are in the mountains, but since it takes almost 2 hours to get there (you have to wait for a train, take a 1hr 20min train, and then a bus) we decided to just go for the afternoon for the finals (Preliminaries for men’s halp-pipe snowboarding were from 10-1 and then finals 2-330).  It was the same ticket for whole day, so prob we should have just gone the whole day, but jen and I were really enjoying breakfast in the hotel and so we took our time.  First order of business, we bought an American flag.  We’re still looking for bandannas...we’re thinking of making them for next weekend.

(on a side note, can i just point out that while brian may seem like he’s high and doing nothing all the time, he is, in fact, a real go-to guy and is an excellent travel guide and olympic event planner extraordinaire.  Good job bri.)

We made it to bardoneccia by 12:30pm, and began to try to get tickets.  Now  you have to remember, most people go to these events with tickets.  Yeah, we were on a bit of a different plan that was more like to get them from people standing outside once we got there.  This worked swimmingly for speed skating which was far from sold out and far from popular, but snowboarding men’s half-pipe is super popular and was super sold out.  Lots of people went only to the morning and were leaving, but they weren’t letting people back in with ripped ticket stubs.  Once you’re out, you’re out.  So we try to sweet talk the ticket guys but no good, and we proceed to just ask every single person walking in if they have tickets.  Some american guy is like ‘oh yeah, i have two tickets, and just gives them to us — 90 euro seats!  Good job brian, and that was amazing.  But we still needed one more, and there were two single people also looking for one ticket by the gate....long story short, after a lot of asking and bothering people, and after receiving SO many dirty looks (i’m sorry, jen and i look like nice girls, but people were looking at us like we were the scum of the earth when we asked if they had extra tickets) we found an american couple that had two extras and totally ripped us off for one ticket, but since we didn’t pay for the others, it was fine.  If we didn’t buy one, the other two people were ready to pay whatever they asked.

And, snowboarding was amazing, the weather was incredible and sunny, and we won again!!!! Which totally proves that we’re good luck.  Here’s shaun white after he won, and us at snowboarding:

It took about hours to get back on a bus after snowboarding was over.  First, somehow we managed to get on the platform where all the snowboarders were standing (not the half-pipe snowboarders, the ones that do the other SB events) so we were meeting some of them and thinking we were cool for a little while.  Brian asked one of the girl snowboarders to make out. (That plan didn’t work out so well)   And then by the time we decided to leave, about 1000 other people had already decided the same thing, so we stood in the FREEZING cold snow and waited for almost 2 hours for a bus back to bardoneccia.  It was awful.  And it was pretty much my fault because jen and bri wanted to climb over the fence and walk across this river thing that would have gotten us on a bus about an hour earlier, but i was being a baby.  Obv. They’re right, i repelled in israel...but seriously, does that make me an olympic athlete??

The good thing is, that we got back to torino too late to go to short track at 7pm, which was our original plan, so we decided the backup would be to try to go to the medal ceremony at 8 (since we had had so much to do with the US already winning 2 gold medals!) which was the best thing ever!

So the medal ceremony each night is free, and apparently (we found this out a little too late) at 2pm every day in piazza san carlo, 400 free tickets are given out.  But people get there at like 9am to get the free tickets, because after every night’s medal ceremony there is a free concert.  This is where my little cousin marisa would have DIED...last night was kelly clarkson!  Yup, the one and only true AMERICAN IDOL! There are some good ones..wed is duran duran, thurs is jamaroqui, Sunday is whitney houston, etc etc

So, tix to last night were done of course when we got to the atrium at 7:30pm, so we ended up getting lucky and scalping them for 10 euro each, which ended up being the best 10 euro i ever spent!  The medal ceremony was great because we got to sing the star spangled banner (oh, how i love america!) twice!!!  And we had our flag we walked around flaunting all day, and we were super obnoxious about it, and then we got to see a kelly clarkson concert.  Omigod, she was AMAZING.  So good.  She has the most beautiful voice, and we managed to push ourselves up to about 9 rows back!!! Brian didn’t like that because all the other guys in the audience kept being like ‘dude, why do you need to be so close to kelly clarkson’ but it was so much fun, and don’t listen to anything brian says on his blog, he was LOVING it.  He even sang “the trouble with love is....” to me and jen last night before we went to bed.





And then we took a 10:50 pm train back to milan and i’m at work, BUT we get to do it all over again next weekend!  My friends Matt, liz, and erika  will be with us, too...jen and bri are prob going back this thurs or so so they’ll get to see jamaroqui...

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and i love and miss you all. Going to meet jen and brian for lunch, then they’re off to florence for 2 days.  Was anyone studying in florence that can remember the name of the waxing place in florence...international something and or/do you have the number by any chance?

Any last minute suggestions for bri and jen in florence or rome send them asap. Wish you were all here this weekend. Feel free to check for last minute flights.

How was shabbat dinner fri night?

Xoxo
J

2 Comments:

Anonymous Courtney said...

Amy is in Florence...her e-mail is amoblamo@aol.com

3:17 PM  
Anonymous G-Blatt said...

Sup Litty -
I'm leaving tomm. for Switzerland, Olympics sound great (did you meet up with marc and ben after the 2-man luge event?) Keep in touch over e-mail...but so far the plan is meet up the night of the 23rd...we'll go out that nite, and Blaze is comin skiing on the 24th (can I call u Blaze, or is this one of those Leaf things where only certain ppl get the honor?)...U da man blaze...if u see any cool souvenirs pick something up and I'll throw u some dinero...if u read this before i leave tommorrow and u need me to bring anything to Europe lemme know and I'll fetch it for ya. See u soon homey
~ Lil Guy

9:22 AM  

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