Today, I had a chance to check out my first real Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics event. Kelly picked up tickets for the Women's Bronze Medal Hockey game featuring Sweden vs. Finland. We had decent seats about 17 rows behind the net and had a great time watching the "Battle of the Blondes" and indeed it was a battle. I've never seen such a scrappy hockey game. Girls were sitting on each other, punching each other and generally doing quite un-ladylike things. Rock on!
Previously, I've only been able to get tickets to a couple of victory ceremonies. The first ceremony was definitely the best as history was made when Alexandre Bilodeau was awarded the first Gold Medal won on home soil for Canada. The second was for snowboarding as Australia's Torah Bright took home gold.
Camped out with my 80 - 200 f/2.8 Nikon lens, I managed to squeeze off a few shots...
Before the game began, we had some guy banging on his drum to get the crowd psyched for the game ahead.
The seats were decent so I had some really good opportunities for great shots behind the net and in front of the net.
I also got to catch some pretty good shots of the goalies from Finland and Sweden scrambling for those big saves.
And of course, occasionally, the goalies don't get a couple and then there's a celebration.
Just because they're women, doesn't mean they can't play rough either!
I found out later that the Madame President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, was sitting in the box behind me the whole time. She was really getting into the game.
Finally, Finland won the day and their very first hockey medal of the Olympics. Both teams played exceptionally well though and I don't think anyone in the audience walked away disappointed. The girls hit hard, scrapped a lot, and played with skill.
If you like looking at Scandinavian blondes, do check out the gallery after the jump. I've got 81 pictures that I'm sure you'll enjoy