Vancouver, B.C. buzzes with Olympic excitement these days. I'm not overstating here. In fact, I'm probably understating this. Because, really, Vancouver, B.C. and neighboring Whistler are about ready to burst with Olympic festivities. The Opening Ceremonies begin Friday evening but on a Wednesday night you'd think it was happening at that moment. Everyone's out on the streets, snapping photographs on Robson Square where the Olympic countdown clock is. They jump in the metal red bobsled for photos in front of the clock. And they take photos by the fountains in front of the Vancouver Art Museum.
At 9:30 p.m. the ice rink that's just behind the art museum is filled with ice skaters - some graceful, others still getting their legs under them. This will be an Olympic legacy site once the games are over. You can learn to skate as the Canadian Tenors sing and the crowd chants "Go Canada Go!" And to top the evening off, how about a light show against clouds, complete with fireworks and flames. Yes! The Olympics are almost here.
It's hard not to get excited because everywhere you turn, there's some reminder that the Winter Games are about to begin. Some of those reminders are small. Take pin trading. People stand on corners and by lampposts to trade pins. There's a lot of bartering involved and money too. You'll see people walking around with scarves covered in Olympic pin memorabilia.
There are also giant reminders such as photographs of Canadian Olympic athletes that cover windows and sky scrappers throughout Vancouver's city center or the Canadian flag painted on the corner of a downtown building.
This is all part of the early show - the teaser - before the Winter Olympics get underway and this international city helps get its visitors into the spirit of the games.