The 2010 Olympic Zipline: A Lesson in Patience and Insanity

The Olympics have been a test in patience. Want to go to the Olympic Superstore? Expect an hour wait to blow your money on their official products.

Skating at Robson Square

How about the insanely popular Japanese-style Japa Dog? Sinking your teeth into their seaweed and Bratwurst succulence will take you another hour.

Yeah, I don’t understand the appeal for that one, either.

The Robson Square Celebration Site was one of the most popular Olympic destinations in Vancouver. Everything was free and events were in abundance: skating, zipline, the Ignite the Dream pyrotechnic sound and light show, and live music.

Ziptrek Ecotours’ zipline scored the most attention. Perched six stories above Vancouver’s iconic downtown core, eager people would wait as long as nine hours for an exhilarating 15-second ride over Robson Square.

I understand waiting that long about as much as the desire to eat seaweed.

As previously mentioned, I met a generous man who offered to let me do the zipline on my birthday without the long wait. My instructions were to check in at the British Columbia International Media Centre and I would be ushered up a different entrance to the front of a line.

You know, to avoid a riot.

When I arrived, participants were half-frozen after waiting in line for four hours since 6 a.m.

I didn’t bother mentioning I’d just come from my warm ‘n cozy hotel.

I put vanity on the shelf and got outfitted in my harness.

Then again, maybe it’s one of my best Olympic looks.

We climbed several flights of stairs to the launch pad with gorgeous views of Robson Square and the surrounding areas. Suddenly, I got nervous.

I’ve done plenty of ziplines but there is something unnerving about that initial leap, especially when this one required us to walk down four steps without any kind of a railing for support.

I vowed to film my experience and redeem myself from my failed attempt at capturing Bode Miller in the downhill. I accomplished just that.

Well, if you can look past the fact that I filmed part of it sideways.

In my defense, I was a bit preoccupied with not dying.

Soaring over the Square was an absolute thrill and I could see why people waited in line for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Watch the video here.

Oh, and you know what I jokingly called the crowd standing in line at the end of my video?

When my amazing experience working with Microsoft Office ’10 during the Olympics is over, I’ll be back to being one of them.

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