So it occurred to me, that with all the fun I have had so far during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, I haven't really stopped to think about what the whole experience would be like through the eyes of a child.
Sure, even I got goosebumps seeing the expressions of joy and inspiration on the thousands of infant faces that lined the streets of Vancouver as the torch wormed its way into town. But what about now, when the competitions are in full swing and down town Vancouver is buzzing with this newfound energy?
Well tonight I decided to do something about it by taking myself off to Robson Square straight after work, to the GE Ice Plaza for the nightly "Meet the Mascots" spectacular. In short, I plonked myself down on a bench on the side of the rink, surrounded by a group of 8-year olds.
The show consists of the 2010 Vancouver's three primary mascots, Quatchi, Miga and Sumi putting on their own little shows on the ice, surrounded by a collection of hyper colour dressed teenagers who skate, jump, spin, give high fives to the kids on the fence and generally have a tonne of fun in front of the sizeable crowd that had gathered by showtime.
"So who are these colourful and cuddly mascots anyway?", I hear you ask? Well let me enlighten you...
The big hairy fella you see in the photo above is Quatchi, a young sasquatch from deep in the forests of British Columbia. A fan of ice hockey and photography, the big guy is super cuddly and a big hit with the kids.
Part black bear (torso), thunderbird (wings) and orca (hat), Sumi's name is Salish for "guardian spirit". Living in the mountains around Whistler, he loves alpine skiing and flying over the coastal mountains.
Sumi is the official mascot for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
Miga is a gorgeous little sea bear from the waters off Tofino, Vancouver Island. Part rare white Kermode Bear and part Killer Whale, she's a real adventurist listing surfing and snowboarding as her favourite sports!
Between the three characters and their support group, they had smiles permanently etched on the faces of every single child lining the ice. There were screams of excitement, clapping, jumping up and down and cuddles with the mascots on the rink barrier, as the 15 minute show unfurled with a symphony of songs, strobing coloured lights, psychedelic costumes, and some pretty impressive figure skating.
I was well impressed, super excited for the rug rats all around me, and thoroughly enjoyed the show. Check it out if you get the chance. It runs nightly at 6pm at the GE Ice Plaza under Robson Square until the 28th February.
Links & Credits
- All images // Rob Masefield
- 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics // olympic.org