by Sadie Babits
Over the weekend a friend and I decided it was time to take a break and check out the different pavilions and venues at the Vancouver Olympics. The Canada's Northern House made the list. So did the Irish House, LiveCity downtown, and the Richmond O-zone. And we, of course, had to pay a visit to USA House.
We mapped out our route and set off on a hike through downtown Vancouver. The only problem was USA House was no where to be found. It didn't seem to exist. We eventually found it in a glass apartment complex right across from Irish House with it's long line of beer drinking faithful and pumping Irish tunes. The "House" has nothing American about it. You won't find U.S. flags hanging about. Instead, you'll find windows carefully covered in a wintery design blocking the world from the sidewalks out and hiding the super secret world inside.
We're greeted cordially by someone trying to assess who we're with. Do we have a meeting with someone? Where are our credentials? We're told that the USA House is off limits to the general person. It's just for athletes, sponsors and members of the Olympic Family. We didn't fit any category except unaccredited media. This is the exclusive side of the Olympics complete with a private U.S.A. Olympic store for "special" people.
We were allowed into get a sneak peak of the Ralph Lauren and Nike line up. We choked over the $138 scarves and $78 t-shirts. The Nike side of the store was much cheaper than the Ralph Lauren side for what it's worth. We didn't buy anything but I did snap a few pictures to give you an idea of what's inside this top secret location.
That sticker shock wore off though when we made it Sochi Russia House where a winter team jacket will run you $598. The best part of the USA House? Watching figure skating star Michelle Kwan waltz through the doors and head right up the elevator to the super top secret section of USA House.