I love the art of Sylvia Ji and was inspired by her Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) paintings. We had an amazing team for this shoot – everything came together to create some very cool images. The overall theme was “death” but I wanted to combine Winter – which is symbolically associated with death – with Day of the Dead, sugar skull inspired imagery. Jenny did a fantastic job with the makeup, and Dani and Candice were awesome with the hair styling. Dani’s styling was perfect and Charity was beautiful and inspired
The Olympics are now over after an incredible final gold medal for Canada – with an overtime win in men’s ice hockey in an intense game against Team USA. The Canadian athletes had their best ever Winter Olympics winning 14 gold, 7 silver and 5 bronze medals. No country in Winter Olympic history has won 14 gold medals before, making it a major achievement. A large part of Canada’s success was the massive support from the fans and spectators. Every day thousands of fans filled the downtown core, celebrating the latest medal winners and just having a good time. Their cheers and spontaneous singing of “O Canada” was broadcast across the nation, so that the entire country could join in! I’m sure the excitement of the fans helped to spur the athletes on to do their best.
The athletes also received much support for their training and expressed their appreciation whenever they were interviewed in the media. They were able to pursue their dreams and get recognition for it too! Some of the Canadian athletes who did not win medals expressed how they felt they let down the country who had supported them over the years and deserved to see them win a medal. But most Canadians will agree that it is enough that they competed and did their best.
Of the many Olympic moments during the games, the most memorable was the figure skating performance of Joannie Rochette, who despite her mother passing away suddenly 4 days earlier, skated to win a bronze medal. She said that her mother would have wanted her to compete, which inspired her great performance.
Other amazing performances included the gold medal for snowboarding half-pipe won by Shaun White from the USA, and the gold medal for ladies figure skating by Yu-Na Kim of South Korea.
But the biggest story for me was the great atmosphere of celebration, peace and fun in Vancouver! I’m happy to live in such a great city, which is not only beautiful, but is also populated with so many awesome people!
Vancouver has been preparing for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games for years. When I moved here in 2006, construction was well underway, and road closures were frustrating, making commuting challenging for many residents. One of the main routes into the city, Cambie Street, was closed to build a new subway, running between the airport and downtown. Granville St., one of the main downtown streets, was also closed to traffic while it was upgraded. Now the city boasts new and upgraded venues, a much-needed upgraded highway to Whistler, and a new convention centre.
As I write this, the Olympics are about half way done and have been a great success so far. There have been some problems – the major one being the weather. Vancouver had the warmest January since records were kept, which meant the Cypress Mountain venue for many skiing and snowboarding did not have enough snow! Snow had to be transported from other mountains to make sure the games could continue. It has been great for the fans though – mostly sunny and warm weather. Unprecedented numbers of people have been pouring into downtown to watch the many free concerts and cultural events, visit the pavilions, Olympic Cauldron, or just to hang out and party. There are huge celebrations going late into the night whenever Canada wins a medal!
The cost for putting on the games is unbelievable and many locals question whether it was a wise thing to do, while supporters point out that the long term benefits will outweigh the costs. Only time will resolve this debate. One thing is for sure, it is a great party – so if you are in Vancouver, you might as well get into the Olympic Spirit and enjoy the fun!
There have been some great photographic opportunities too!
Here are some more shots that I have taken during the Olympic Games: