It was yet another awesome day at the Roar of the Rings Olympic Curling Trials.
I got up way too early and headed down to Rexall for 8:15 am because I wanted to beat the commuter traffic to the train station parking lot (success!). So I sat with the rest of the early risers and watched the first few ends of the Lawton vs McCarville tiebreaker. As you can see from the photo below, only the die hards were out for the early morning freezing cold Friday am draw. I sat behind some vocal Saskatchewan (Lawton) fans, and chatted to another volunteer for awhile before heading off for my second (and sadly, last) volunteer shift of the event.
The man with the flag may or may not be McCarville's husband. And he had a cowbell.
I once again put my coat in the downstairs volunteer lounge and grabbed a ginger ale (and a doughnut) for the walk to the South store. The South merch store was smaller than the north store I worked at yesterday, and had slightly different stock, so it took me a bit to get acquainted with what they had. I was super lucky, and worked with great crew of wonderful ladies for the next 6 hours. The cashiers were super nice, as were the other three volunteers. Someone had brought a box of chocolate and a bag of Munchies so between the snacks and the curling on the tvs with volume, we were well equipped for down time.
Today was a lucky day in the store for me.
Early in the morning, a lady came in and I noticed she had an Edmonton Oilers car decal. I asked her where she got if from, and she said the Information desk, so I said I would try to make it there later to get a couple. Well, ten minutes later she was back and handed me two decals! Bless her heart!
That's the way curling fans are. Everyone has been so nice. I'll talk to and joke around with anyone, so I've had a blast here this week. The volunteers are great, the other staff are great, the fans in the stands are great and the shoppers are great. It's just been a great atmosphere.
At some point I took a lunch break. After a few hours of standing on the hard concrete, my feet and back were just aching! I have developed a taste for Rexall cheeseburgers, and I headed back to the volunteer lounge to rest my feet, watch the game, chat to the other volunteers, and inhale another doughnut (and fruit, I did have fruit - my kingdom for a banana though - apparently the players lounge gets all the bananas). We only really get about half an hour, so I headed back to the store. I saw Luke Coley, a commentator for CurlTV, talking to a guy I know is a curler, but who's name I can't remember. I think he might have been from another Edmonton team not at the trials, but I just can't remember his name. It'll come to me next week I'm sure.
Alright, prepare yourself for the highlight of my day.
I was helping a lady decide on a size for a white jacket (very popular). I had gone to the front to grab a jacket. As I was heading back around a clothes rack to give her the coat, I bumped into a guy. I said sorry, he said sorry, and left. I turned and looked...
IT WAS NOLAN THIESSEN!!
(In case you don't follow or read between the lines of this blog, I kinda like him in a fangirl kinda way. We brushed sleeves. *sigh*)
But I didn't realize it until he was half way across the concourse, and I couldn't chase after him because I was helping the lady with the white jacket! By the time she had bought her jacket, he had disappeared into the stands. Grr. Argh. I totally missed my opportunity to tell him I think he's the greatest. My one shot to profess my love - gone.
I had to, of course, tell all the ladies in the store about my lucky bump. And as I was telling one of the ladies, he totally walked down the concourse again, and she pointed right at him! I am such a fool.
Shortly after, my Fort Mac friend came to the store - I told her my story, and as we were looking at jackets he walked by again! So I pointed him out and she goes "Him! He's been sitting in front of me with his mom and grandma all morning! I didn't know who he was!"
Ahh! Another opportunity squandered. He never returned to that seat. After she bought some merch and went back she was on photo duty, but alas, no luck. Curses, foiled again.
This is team Koe. Thiessen is the tall one on the left. Like ten years ago I was Rycroft's fangirl (right) and I also think Koe (the bald one) is a cutie. And no, these are not the only reasons team Koe is my favourite. They're damn good curlers. Plus they curl out of Etown.
The above photo is from the Roar of the Rings photo gallery, which has tons of pictures that are a million times better than mine, so you should check it out.
Anyways, right after that, as I was talking to my friend about the jackets, I saw this flash. A man from the Canadian Curling Association took my picture! I smiled better and he took another one and left. I called out to him, asking what it was for, and he said maybe the paper. So maybe I'll be in the paper tomorrow.
Why me? I'm not stunningly gorgeous or anything. I of course was in uniform, and for that particular minute was actually promoting the merchandise instead of gossiping about my brush with Thiessen, so I guess it was a good shot. I am probably the youngest volunteer on the entire 950 strong crew, so that's unique. Plus, the back of my volunteer badge is full of autographs, and it kinda insists on hanging that side out, and I guess maybe that's another good picture. Well, we'll see if I make it into the papers tomorrow.
Right, well, that's my volunteer shift almost done. I didn't do up nearly as many zippers as yesterday, and it was pretty quiet. Near the end of the shift, one of the volunteers saw my name badge, and inquired about my last name - it turns out she knows one of my aunts and uncles really well, and coincidently another of the volunteers we had worked with all day is that same aunt's cousin. Plus the lady used to teach elementary school in the neighbourhood I grew up in. Small freakin' world.
Finally we got relieved, and I headed back to collect my coat and meet my Fort Mac friend. On the way, I got my like 6th free piece of cake from the M&M Meat Shop booth, and tried the Mario/Sonic Winter Olympic curling game on the Wii at the Capital One booth. It's decent, but tricky to get the weight down (story of my life). So it was a pretty good morning/afternoon.
Did I mention I bumped into Nolan Thiessen? If you're my friend in real life, you can expect to hear that story live-in-person at least a couple times, and I will probably talk about it for years to come. Just warning you.
So my friend and I head to the Patch. Right away I spotted Guy Hemmings, one of curling's greatest personalities. Yes, his hair was tousled, to say the least. I then spotted one of my cousins in the dinner line. Then as we were eating, my Fort Mac friend pointed out Pat Simmons (ugh, who lost yesterday to Stoughton, thus a tiebreaker wasn't necessary and Stoughton didn't have to meet team Koe for a shot and the semis, thus eliminating Koe, and Koe is one of my favourite teams and guess who plays lead? That's right. Nolan Thiessen. *sigh*). I also spotted the one other person know who is a volunteer who was working the security doors as we left. It sounded like he was having a pretty good event too.
Oh yeah, Hey Romeo was playing. They were pretty good.
Next up - the womens semis between Kleibrink and McCarville. I was cheering for Kleibrink, which was fortunate because while we were in the Patch for dinner, someone gave us cardboard 'Go Kleibrink' clappers. Which are awesome. They're like clapping for lazy people who like to make loud noises without bruising their palms. Tons of people in the crowd had them (excellent mass distribution effort).
While they were practicing, I spotted Bryan Mudryk, Vic Rauter and Linda Moore (the commentators for TSN). And while the game was going on, we saw team Gunnlaugson a few rows in front of us, and Mark Kennedy and Adam Enright a few sections over. They even caught Mark Kennedy and his wife on the kissing cam during a commercial break. Unfortunately you-know-who did not make another appearance two rows in front of us. I was sure to broadcast to the ladies behind us about my brush with fame. I've been joking with them for the past few days. The seat next to my Fort Mac friend has remained empty, so I've been stealing it. I'm hoping this lasts for tomorrow's mens semis, but I'm fully prepared to move higher up for the finals. It'll be a shame, the view from row 13 is really good!
Can you spot Bryan Mudryk, Vic Rauter and Linda Moore? Oh, and Heather Nedohin makes an appearance too. (click for bigger photo)
Hey Romeo singing for the 5th end break. Are they famous?
Did you find Mark Kennedy and Adam Enright?
I love how the women sit cross legged in a circle during the 5th end break. They always do this, and the men never do. The men usually just sit on the stools behind the scoreboard or stand around.
Action shot for McCarville (white)
Action shot for Kleibrink (green)
The game ended when Kleibrink made a draw for 5. We used our clappers lots, my team won, and I went home a happy, but very tired girl.
And it all goes again tomorrow.
Did I mention I accidentally bumped into Nolan Thiessen today?
(Maybe I'll get another chance to actually say something not stupid to my curling crush...)