Through some miracle I got a ticket for the final dress rehearsal for the Olympics Opening Ceremony - actually we got 8 tickets and brought along some students too. This was the last rehearsal, and the first one with all the big names and effects. It was absolutely amazing, but of course we were all sworn to secrecy, so you can wait till Friday to find out what the opening ceremony will look like (it was very impressive). It wasn't only the show that was just like the big day - the crowds too were an exact replica of what we'll see starting tomorrow. It was absolute mayhem. It took us an hour to get to the other side of BC Place Stadium. Lord knows how long it took people to get on the Skytrain.
We had anticipated the crowds and intellectually knew how bad they would be - but to be in one - yeesh, it was awful. So part of that anticipation was planning so that all of our students placed during the Olympics would be interning and working as close as possible to their homes.
Normally students in the Student Internship and Working Holiday Programs need to be open to work anywhere within Translink Zones 1 and 2. This allows us to find the best fit possible for them. However with the Olympics, and with these crowds, if we have a student living in Zone 1, and working in Zone 2 - what had been a 20 minute commute, might stretch to be as long as 3 or 4 hours each way. So part of our big Olympics push was to get every one of our students placed within either walking distance, or a short bus ride of their homestays and apartments. We've succeeded in that - which means that once the games start - our students won't be stuck in crowds like this: