And Gold Goes Too…

G!  For being so awesome at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games!

Our trip was fantastic.  There were rough moments but I went prepared for at least one Very Difficult Day or one Epic Meltdown and it never happened.  We made sure to keep our expectations reasonable.  For example, our skeleton tickets were for women’s heat 3 and 4 and then after that a ticket holder could stay in the sliding center and catch the men’s events.  We saw heat 3 and had started heat 4 when G started to fritz.  The cowbells and hooting were getting to him and he was frustrated that he couldn’t see the entire track at once like he’d expected.  So we left for the day without a single disappointment, because we were making sure to soak in every Olympic Moment for all it’s worth. 

Ski Jumping went similarly.  There was a bus ride to the arena, long security lines because everyone got off the bus at the same time and then a long walk to the actual venue.  We saw the first heat of the mens individual large hill but went home before the 4th started.  By the way, if you ever have a chance to see an international ski jumping competition, don’t miss it!  They call it the NASCAR of Europe and the crowd is fabulous.  We sat next in a large group of Swiss who were nothing but nice to G.  There were hilariously crazy Poles, Norwegians, Germans and Swedes.  More fun than I’ve had in a long time.

After Ski Jumping, we discovered the disability accessible entrances.  There were separate security tents tucked in corners so they were much quieter and the lines were much shorter.  The security personnel in the general lines were perfectly lovely, but there was just a different welcoming, understanding atmosphere in the accessible security tent.  Then they’d helpfully direct us to the accessible shuttle which saved G from the long walks to the venue.  This made his tolerance for the spectator crowds so much greater.  He continued to use the ipod and bose noise cancelling headphones to tune out as he needed, but we saw all of speed skating with only a short walking break, most of bobsleigh and all of aerial skiing.  And he was completely into aerials – barely touched the ipod at all.

In between events we went skiing, snowtubing, swimming, drove past the olympic torch and took a trip to the Vancouver Aquarium.  We ate sushi one night where G decided he loves tofu and ate his weight in salmon sashimi.  He kept careful track of all the flags we saw and recorded them in his journal at night.  We pushed him to his absolute max and outside of a couple touchy hours where he flirted around the edge of meltdown, he held it together spectacularly.  I’m so proud of him.

And I’m so proud of DH and I as parents.  We did it!  We took our autistic child to the Winter Olympic Games.  No kidding, we’ve been training for this trip for over a year.  We worked to consider everything from how to increase G’s tolerance to noise and crowds to what tools to pack in our bag.  DH commented on our flight home that he feels like there’s nothing we can’t do with G now.  Our family has definitely earned a medal for personal best experience.

Published in: on February 27, 2010 at 11:08 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That’s fantastic…I am so happy you had a great trip!! Welcome home and WTG G!!

    • Thanks! As my fellow Olympic Fanatic, I couldn’t wait to let you know how it went!

  2. What a great success story! I hope to have a similar one to share when my son is ready.

    • Mandi, I hope so too!

  3. Oh, yay! This is a wonderful post to read. Happy for your whole family!

    • Thank you!

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