Vancouver 2010

Our group snowballed into 90 attendees for the London 2012 games.  We took over a youth hostel, on the Thames River, and walking distance to the heart of the city.  For those not up for the walk, double decker buses had a stop right outside of our door, and bikes were for rent daily.  Whether it was the monstrous Olympic Village, a pub crawl, beach volleyball outside of Buckingham Castle, our a cruise on our first night under the London Bridge and aside the London Eye, this group was ecstatic.  The number of people continuing on our "Journey to the Games" is increasing.  We're looking forward to seeing so many familiar faces in Sochi Russia, February 2014!  And...we'll be in Rio for the 2014 World Cup, getting acquainted with our surroundings for the Rio Summer Olympics in 2016!

Vancouver 2010

To get a great visual on exactly what went down in Vancouver of 2010, click on this link attached. You’ll see events, our paintball excursion, 50 degree skiing in Whistler, the Caplicksters performance and so much more.

In 2010 we cracked the Olympic code. With the Olympics being hosted in North America and an English speaking country, it was easy to get a head start on lodging (two and a half years to be exact). We worked with bulk housing and paid for accommodations in full more than two years out. But this time we didn’t bring 10 people. We brought 81! Because there’s strength in numbers and people will deal with you when you’re attempting to rent out their entire building. Unless you are a sponsor, the French ski team, or are more connected than Shawn Johnson, people just don’t want to deal with you.

We’ll always attempt to synch people up when it comes to finding the right tickets to our core groups choice but we also understand that people come to see different things. Between the group, we saw almost every single event being showcased while we were there. Some saw the US men’s hockey team beat Canada 5-3. Others experienced bobsledding and Lindsay Vonn in the giant slalom. The lucky ones got women’s ice skating short program and the brave endured a few hours of curling. Twelve of us saw Apollo Ohno literally leap over two of his flailing competitors and one hockey finatic caught eight games throughout the week.

No matter what path any of these 81 participants took, they’ll all attest this was a tough week to beat. Enter London 2012!

Beijing 2008

In 2008 we got smarter. 10 of us rented an apartment in Beijing. Granted, it was nowhere near the Olympic venues but at least we had beds, space, and a place that wasn’t too far from everything going on in the city.

This was unlike the other Olympic adventures in so many different ways. This wasn’t North America and this wasn’t Europe. This was a China and it was half way around the world. This was a communist country that had come to embrace the Olympics and the rest of the world. History was in the making.

Soccer games, boxing, track and field, weightlifting, beach volleyball, and archery were all on the list. We also stumbled on some women’s gold medal gymnastic tickets while in Beijing. Anything is possible when sponsors are holding onto hundreds of complimentary seats per venue.

If there’s one thing we’d realized more than ever, it’s that there’s no way you’ll see half as many sports as you might think in one week. London will be our third summer games and we’ve yet to see diving, swimming, basketball, fencing, ping pong, badminton, wrestling, wrestling, judo, whitewater kayaking, and on and on. I’m sure we’ll check a few of these unseen events off our list in 2012.

Torino 2006

In 2006 we got even more event tickets and eight of us made our way to Torino, Italy. When we looked up options for lodging a year in advance, there were a few rooms left at the Best Western in Torino. They were $600 US dollars per night for two single beds. Not the double beds you could squeeze two into – SINGLE BEDS! We opted to rent two RV’s and slum it in the RV campground outside of Torino.

Everything else fell into place after the RV’s were parked in the campground. Although a few of us had experienced SLC in 2002, we never got to a winter Olympic event. Not this time. We made up for that with multiple hockey games (USA vs. Sweden, USA vs. Russia, and Czech Republic vs. Canada), men’s aerial finals, and even curling.

This was also the first year we brought eight guys. It was clear that the more people we could get on board the merrier.

Athens 2004

In 2004 we got serious. Four of us traveled to Athens with plenty of event tickets. But the same problem from 2002 haunted us. In 2002 we were one of ten crashing on someone’s condominium floor. Now we found our own two rooms in a hostel. The only problem was that even a year in advance, the only lodging available was a 90 minute boat ride from the port in Athens. Three hours a day was devoted to getting back into the city.

The daily logistics of this adventure were tiresome but they were worth every minute. We saw the US indoor men’s volleyball team beat the home country Greece in the quarterfinals, our US women’s soccer team take the gold against Brazil in double overtime, and 2 full days of track and field. We also had quite the cultural experience at Tae Kwon Do. The spectators were ten times more colorful and fun to watch than the athletes themselves.

To top off the Olympic week, we decided to do some island hopping through Greece. After stops in Mykonos, Ios, Santorini, and Crete, it was time to head home.