Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

Souvenir Sunday: 2010 Olympics Souvenirs from YVR

The 2010 Winter Olympics will soon wind down and the media, the sports fans, the athletes, and those cute mascots will be clearing out.   Everyone will certainly want some souvenirs to take home and what better place to get them than at the airport?

Several Olympics-only stores at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) have been selling Olympics souvenirs for about a year. Every non-Olympics store in the airport has been allowed to stock Olympics souvenirs as well.  So on this last weekend of the 2010 Winter Olympics, we’ll do our Souvenir Sunday shopping at YVR.

A great first choice in the under $10 category (our budget for Souvenir Sunday):  pins.

Buying and trading Olympic-themed pins seems to be an official sport now and the airport not only sells the pins but has a special pin-trading area set up in the terminal.

The now-famous $10 red mittens are also for sale the airport.  I bought several pairs of them when I visited YVR before the games and now wish I’d bought a few more.

This can of maple syrup is adorable, but it weighs in at over three ounces so don’t try taking it home in your carry-on.  Consider instead these cute Olympic-themed cold packs, which could come in handy as you begin training for the next Winter Olympics.

Have you found a great souvenir while stuck at the airport?  We’d love to see it!  If it’s under $10 or less, “of” the city or region and, ideally a bit offbeat, please snap a photo and send it along. It may end up featured on Souvenir Sunday.

Airports in Reno, Toronto and Dusseldorf pay tribute to Winter Olympics

(Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards at the world’s largest ski jump inside an airport)

Airports around the world are marking this year’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver with special exhibits.

Yesterday, the Reno Tahoe International Airport (RNO) opened an Olympics museum inside the terminal.

This past weekend, Düsseldorf  International Airport trucked in tons of snow to make the world’s largest indoor ski jump at an airport.

And now the Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) has a new exhibit, Champions on Ice and Snow, that pays tribute to athletes who have represented Canada at the Winter Olympics.

The exhibit includes skates worn by Kurt Browning, a four-time World Champion figure skater, skis that belonged to alpine skier Anne Heggtveit, and a reproduction of a sweater, hat and mittens worn by “Canada’s Sweetheart” Barbara Ann Scott, who won a gold medal in figure skating in 1948.  Life-size action photos of athletes such as a speed-skatering Gaétan Boucher, who won three medals at the 1984 Winter Olympics, are also included.

Look for Champions on Ice and Snow at Toronto’s Pearson Interational Airport in Terminal 1, near Gate 120, domestic departures, through June, 2010,

Get ready to “Apolo-ize” yourself at SEA and PDX

Are you getting excited about the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver?

The folks at Alaska Airlines are.

Today (Tuesday, February 2, 2010), airline representatives will be at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Portland International Airport (PDX) asking passengers to help cheer on speed skater and Pacific Northwest native Apolo Ohno by “Apolo-izing” themselves with free stick-on Apolo Ohno ‘soul patches.’

And don’t worry if you’re not planning to be at either of those airports on Tuesday.

Like the folks pictured above, you can go on-line and “Apolo-ize’ yourself anytime with the handy Apolo-ize tool.

Vancouver Int’l Airport gets ready for the 2010 Winter Olympics

The opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics are just around the corner, and final details are hurriedly being worked out and set in place in downtown Vancouver, up at Whistler and at various venues and attractions throughout the region.

It’s particularly exciting out at the airport.

Vancouver International Airport will be the first stop for more than 230,000 Olympics-bound athletes, officials, coaches, support teams and out-of-town visitors, and it is taking its role as the city’s front door very seriously.

Vancouver International Airport officials have been traveling to other Games to get a first-hand view of how airports handled the onslaught of athletes and spectators. And the airport prep team has gathered tips and advice from airport officials in Sydney, Salt Lake City, Athens and other cities that have hosted previous Olympics events.

Find out what Vancouver Airport learned about selling souvenirs, security, and how to handle the biggest Olympics travel day – the day after the closing ceremonies, when everyone tries to go home – in my column Vancouver Airport puts on its Games Face, on

Tidbits for travelers: YVR’s Olympic rings & Air New Zealand’s Skycouches

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics kick off in just a few weeks and Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is getting ready to welcome more than 230,000 athletes and Olympics-bound visitors. Actually, the airport has been sprucing up for quite a while. In addition to its swanky new Observation Gallery, the airport has had these giant Olympic rings on site since last spring.

The installation is almost 46 feet tall, weighs more than 9,000 pounds and has 20,385 individual LED lights. Here’s a video that shows the installation process and some of the colored-patterns that can light up the sky.

In other shiny news, the folks at Air New Zealand unveiled their “Skycouch” today. It’s a specially designed row of three seats that can transform into a flat space suitable for stretching out and sleeping.  That is of course, if you’re not too tall, you don’t mind snuggling up with your seatmate, and you have purchased the entire row.  (The airline says it will sell you third seat at a discount if you’ve purchased the other two).

(Photo courtesy Air New Zealand)

Twenty-two sets of Skycouch seats will be available on Air New Zealand’s new Boeing 777-300 ER planes, which will arrive in November.

And since this is the airline that sponsored a recent Matchmaking flight and created an adorable “nearly naked” commercial and safety video, I fully expect the airline to offer a program to find travelers the perfect snuggle-mate for these flights.

Otherwise- why bother?

Along with the Skycouch and other new amenities, the airline also introduced upgrades for the Premium Economy cabin, including the cool-looking “Spaceseats” you can see in the airline’s promo video.

So what do you think? “Groundbreaking” or just really darn cool?