Winter Olympics Journal

February 18, 2010 12:24 AM

Whistler Village during Olympics: 'Like Vegas on snow'

P1010034.JPGSome things you don't expect to see at the Winter Olympics.

Exhibit A: Last night, I saw a guy jumping rope with his butt.

Two people were swinging a huge, fluorescent jump rope in the midst of Whistler Village. A guy went to the middle of the rope, sat down, and hopped over it with his rear end. A couple of times.

Then he laid down flat and managed to bounce himself up enough so the rope would clear. He quit after a couple of times. Maybe because it hurt.

Whistler Village is where the action is. Some say while Vancouver's the heart of these Games, Whistler's the soul.

On a normal winter evening, it's one of the best après-ski places on the planet. During the Olympics, it is, as freshly minted Olympic downhill silver medalist Julia Mancuso described it, "like Vegas on snow."

Walk around, and you hear live music from different places. People are dressed in crazy hats and costumes or wrapped in oversize flags. A giant set of Olympic rings anchor one end of the pedestrian-only village. People are coming down from the luge track, or arriving from the alpine venue, or getting off a bus from Nordic.

You can't walk far without seeing a TV screen showing something Olympic. Last night, it was a Canadian hockey game, and you knew when they scored because little pockets of cheers would go up. You don't mind standing outside in the cold because most places have outdoor heaters.

Or maybe it's just the Olympic glow.

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