My name is Jon Wick and I am setting up this blog as part of an educational project during my time at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. I am a certified teacher and have taught over five years in western Montana and overseas. This website will be the vehicle that I share my experiences, and interact with school children and staff all over the United States while at the games. I am very excited about this opportunity not only to attend this amazing event, but give quality, first hand accounts and information while I'm there. I hope this will be benefitial to everyone.
Currently, I have a limited press pass through this project and my work with the travel website www.theexpeditioner.com at the Whistler Media House. This will give me access to all of the press gatherings and equipment in Whistler. I will be traveling with a camera and video camera, documenting my experience so that I can post it all here. I will be posting a minimum of once per day during February 10-18th.
I hope to make this an interactive experience for everyone, so I encourage everyone to email me any questions, comments, or suggestions(especially students!!) so that I can answer those in my daily posts.
*If you are reading this as a school official, please feel free to pass this site on to any and all people that you might think it would benefit. This includes any class following the olympics in class, thematic units, supplementary, or cross curricular activities. Thank you1
*If this is a site you are interested in, please click the SUBSCRIBE link below, enter your email address, and you will receive an instant email alert any time the website changes (like when I post an entry).
I am looking forward to working with you all!
February 23rd 2010
This is the final week of the Olympics, and it has been full of incredible competitions, experiences, and stories. The next summer Olympics will be in London, and the next Winter Games will be in Sochi, Russia. As the games conclude, and this interactive blog begins to finish, as well, I would like to thank everyone for following this bog, my experiences, and information I’ve shared with you. I really hope it has helped out your classrooms and study of the Olympics. It has been an incredible experience for me to attend these events in person, and I feel fortunate to have been able to share it with all of you. While I do have a few more posts in the making from all that I have learned, I want to end this project on a ... read more
February 22nd 2010
Does everyone remember the post I wrote about luge? I said it was “the craziest sledding there is.” I take that back, it is the second craziest kind of sledding there is, and looks pretty calm when you compare it to the skeleton. Yikes! My last event of the 2010 Winter Games, was by far the most amazing. Not “this is so beautiful” amazing, but more like “I can’t believe what I’m watching” type of amazing. I rather enjoy extreme sports, and even participate sometimes. In fact, of any Olympic sport outside of skiing, I would have most likely enjoyed being a skeleton athlete. After seeing what this is, in person, ABSOLUTELY NOT! I’ll explain why, in a little bit. This event took place at the same track the luge (and bobsled) used, which I had ... read more
February 19th 2010
I’m a skier, it’s one of the reasons I live in the mountains. One of the most popular sports in the Olympics are the skiing events, it doesn’t matter men, women, or which event, they are very popular. Earlier in the week, I had a chance to grab my skis and head up the mountain to watch the men’s downhill event from along side the course at Whistler Creekside’s Dave Murray downhill course. There were three or four public viewing pods on the course, and since this event was expensive and sold out long ago, I had no other choice but to head up, and I’m sure glad I did. I started the race at the top, where the starting chute is, to watch the athletes out of the gate. I didn’t realize there was ... read more
February 18th 2010
I have to admit that I don’t know much about the sport of cross country skiing. I am a cross country skier, it is a peaceful way to experience the outdoors, be healthy, and active during the winter. When it comes to racing, I am as rookie as it gets. I picked up some cross country skiing tickets because, well, they were available, and really cheap, so I figured this would be another great chance to experience another Olympic sport you don’t normally see, and take in some international Olympic spirit. As I walked into the venue, it is about 10 km away from Whistler and required a bus ride, I was joined with some rather enthusiastic Norwegians. They were really excited about their chances for gold, and had a pretty amazing outfit to match their ... read more
February 15th 2010
I’ve never seen luge other than on the TV. during the Olympics. It isn’t one of those sports your parents throw a party for like the Superbowl or anything. It’s totally unique, extremely fast, and basically everything you strive to do when you get you sleds and toboggans out every winter. Because of the unfortunate death that took place at the luge course here in Whistler last week, the sport has been in the news and minds of almost everyone in the Olympics world, including me. Saturday, I was planning on watching the Men’s Downhill Competition, but because of heavy snows the course wasn’t ready and had to be rescheduled to Monday. This left me with no real plan for the day, so I thought I’d head over to the box office and see if there ... read more
February 13th 2010
Friday, I traveled the seventy miles from Whistler to Vancouver to see what the city was like with this entire Olympic atmosphere going on. It sure didn’t let me down. I tried to be a regular tourist, visiting Vancouver’s famous market, Granville Island Market. It was a very cool place that reminded me of Pike’s Place in Seattle (you may have heard of the fish throwers, that’s Pike’s Place). There was an incredible amount of fresh fruit and vegetables on display and for sale. It wasn’t long though, until my tourist hat came off and I got sucked into the Olympic Games. The city felt alive with energy, almost pulsing. There were people out everywhere at 9 a.m. Team jackets supporting their favorite country were all around, Russian, Croatia, Norway, and it seemed everybody had on ... read more
February 11th 2010
With the Olympics officially starting on Friday, there is a scurry of final preparations going on around Whistler, where many of the skiing and all of the sliding events are taking place. Whistler is a huge mountain resort about an hour drive north of Vancouver. Unfortunately, I drove the gorgeous stretch of the Sea to Sky highway at night, because it is supposed to be an amazingly beautiful drive. That will have to wait for another time. Meanwhile, I’m up in Whistler, getting my bearings and figuring out this entire “Olympics” thing. One fantastic thing I did today, was to jump on board the unique gondola that was opened in December, 2008. This isn’t just a chairlift with a protective cover, like some versions of chairlifts. This was one of the most amazing machines I’ve ever ... read more
February 10th 2010
I have safely arrived in Whistler last night, and have all kinds of things to do and figure out for the next week. From the layout of the village, to the bus schedules (they are closing down many roads and highways), to just getting my bearings so that I can have the best time possible here, it looks like things will be busy and awesome all at the same time! While I settle in to Olympic life, and with the Opening Ceremonies only days away, I thought it would be fun to kick start your brains by asking some fun trivia questions about the Olympics and their history. I will post the answers in my next post. Good Luck! 1. Where are the 2010 Winter Olympics being held? 2. In which year were the first Winter ... read more
February 5th 2010
In my almost endless research I’m doing lately, to help me gaurantee the most of my time at the Olympics, I kept seeing this weird stone man popping up in pictures. In fact, a cartoon version of this symbol was released in 2005 as the official symbol of the Vancouver games. With this kind of respect directed to this “thing,” I grew curious about it, and decided to look into it’s story. Inukshuk, pronounced In-ook-shook, was first used by the arctic Inuit people of Canada. It means “likeness of a person” and was built to mark trails, indicate caches of food, locate settlements, and good places to hunt or fish. Most of the Canadian arctic is made up of permafrost, or year round frozen soil, and only has a few natural landmarks which could be used ... read more
January 31st 2010
In T-minus ten days, I will be packing up my skis, clothes, sleeping bag, gas tank, cameras, video cameras, Olympic tickets and heading… wait, did I say that right? Yes, Olympic tickets! After a bunch of research, double checking things, attempts at preparations, it’s official, “I’m going to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.” Let me fill you all in on how this incredible opportunity came to be an what my plans are for the next, roughly, 3 weeks. Rewind: Yeoju, South Korea. In my time teaching in South Korea last school year, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet some amazing people from all over the world. One of those people was Louis. When we met, he mentioned he was from Vancouver. The first thing I thought of when I heard Vancouver, was ‘Olympics.’ In passing ... read more