The Olympic Flame in Richmond

by Ed Lau on February 10, 2010

Olympics, flame, torch, Richmond, BC

Chasing photo ops is one of my favorite things to do. I’m sure that if there was more celebrity activity in the city, I’d be a paparazzi. Not in the way that Lady Gaga does it but like one of those people that follows Angelina Jolie around. Well, maybe not because I find most of the more scandalous celebrities like that divorced couple with eight freakin’ kids, that weird plastic chick from that reality show that is a spin-off of another reality show…or those orange people with stupid names like “Snooki” or “The Situation” completely abhorrent.

…wait, where was I going with this? Oh, right…chasing photo ops. After hearing the Olympic flame would be run through my hometown, I decided that I would spend the day following it around the city from the starting point all the way until it reached Minoru where it would be carried up on stage in front of a crowd of 15,000+ people.

Of course, I was sure I wouldn’t be the only one along the way so I loaded my car with all my camera equipment, my laptop and my bike in case traffic got really terrible or the police blocked off all the roads.

The route started on No. 5 Road, right after the tunnel, where a convoy of police cars, Coca-cola trucks and buses would bring all the relay runners to their respective starting locations.

Olympics, flame, torch, Richmond, BC

Olympics, flame, torch, Richmond, BC

By around 4:00pm, the crowd started to swell considerably, most of them wearing Canadian colors and waving flags. Heck, I wasn’t actually at the start…I was actually at the first hand-off point but this was much better for my planned getaway route and let me stay in front of the torch the whole way.

Olympics, flame, torch, Richmond, BC

It was pretty awesome. I followed the torch most of the way along Williams, usually snapping shots as it would go by, sprinting like hell to my car nearby and then going through the sidestreets to stay out of the way and to get ahead of it a few blocks before stopping again.

Olympics, flame, torch, Richmond, BC

I even got to hold the torch! This dude’s name is Toby. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good shot of him as he ran with it but I guess I should give him a shout out here.

Olympics, flame, torch, Richmond, BC

I missed my last stop around No. 2 Road as the police had blocked it off before I managed to get there so I went straight to Steveston, where I met up with fellow REVscene people and Twitterers Kardboard, kevvur, darthchilli and samyeh. At first, I thought Kardboard was carrying the ghettoest of camera bags…a plastic bag. He even did the Asian squat!

Olympics, flame, torch, Richmond, BC

The Steveston crowd was by far the biggest with at least a few hundred people in the streets.

Olympics, flame, torch, Richmond, BC

After that, we all headed to the Richmond O-Zone for the ceremonies and entertainment. I have to admit that I found most of the entertainment not only subpar but really, really corporate and weird. C’mon…RBC REEEEEMIX? Seriously? I don’t care if they are an Olympic sponsor…you’re not going to get people excited about banking.

Olympics, flame, torch, Richmond, BC

Olympics, flame, torch, Richmond, BC

I did, however, enjoy the drumline with the juggling dude and the gymnast that did a lot of tricks with hula hoops.

Olympics, flame, torch, Richmond, BC

The real entertainment got better with Delhi 2 Dublin, which is sort of a mash-up of bhangra music with Riverdance…and for two things I didn’t think would go well together, it was actually really good. Who knew that East Indian singing would go so well with Celtic violins?

Olympics, flame, torch, Richmond, BC

Olympics, flame, torch, Richmond, BC

After almost two hours of lifting my heavy camera over my head and freezing my toes off, local hero Rick Hansen brought the torch up on stage to the cheers of the crowd. All things considered, I had a great time. I didn’t need my bike but I’m glad I brought it along anyways to be prepared. It was quite an adventure…and the Olympics haven’t even started yet!

in Current Events,Photography,Sports and Health

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

slif February 11, 2010 at 11:52 am

Thanks for the name of that group – they were surprisingly good! Nice shots of the early run though – we were seriously lucky to get a day where the weather co-operated!

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wang February 11, 2010 at 9:14 pm

good stuff ed. torch-14.jpg was well done. good sense of energy

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Sam Chan February 12, 2010 at 3:34 am

Damn u got some excellent shots in, I’m putting you in today’s Canuck Huddle!

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Jon Lee February 13, 2010 at 10:51 am

Awesome stuff Ed. Makes me proud to be Canadian :)

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Brett @ bnordin.com February 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Nice pics, my sister was selected to be a torch runner just outside of vernon BC. Pretty cool experience. Got a lot of good pictures as well.

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Darrell | Article Rewriter June 29, 2010 at 7:57 pm

When the Great one lite the final destination, it was a proud day for Canadians. I mean who better really than Wayne G.

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Jason July 25, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I am actually an avid trout fisherman and I really want to visit Canada to do some fishing. Do you fish up their at all? I have read that British Columbia has some of the best salmon and steelhead fishing!

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Tampa's Best Wedding Photographers November 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Fun idea! Looks like you got some great images and had fun while doing it. Win-win!

Reply

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