Anyway, I was super excited to attend, especially once I learned that there were going to be free pre-race festivities outside for an hour before hand. The advertisement boasted snow sculpting, ice sculpting, ice blocking, games, and free hot chocolate and donuts.
We arrived to find a much smaller crowd of people than I had anticipated. There were indeed hot chocolate and donuts, but the only action seemed to be a single man sculpting delicate arch out of ice. It was interesting to watch, though a bit slow going, of course. After sampling the goodies and watching for a while I was about to apologize to Jared for dragging him out there for such a lame event (he wasn't going to watch the skating), but then I had a thought. Sometimes the only difference between fun and no fun is your attitude. Life is largely what you make of it. So, I asked Kyah and Isaac if they wanted to make a snowman, and they agreed. We found a spot a little ways away from the ice sculpting, but before we could even start I saw some snowball slingers laying on the ground with targets down the sidewalk. How fun! They weren't the best contraptions-- I could throw the snowball better by hand-- but it was fun to give it a try. As we were playing people saw us and began lining up to try their hand at it, so Kyah and I returned to our original snow-sculpting plans and created a butterfly. Then Isaac began pelting us with snowballs and the three of us enjoyed a little snowball fight. All the while Jared was clicking away with the camera. It turned out to be a very enjoyable hour.
Rainbow Bridge- the only snow sculpture there
Enjoying the yummies with the ice sculpture behind
So happy there were nice, warm fire pits!
Testing out the launchers
Jared actually hit the board, which is closer than any of the rest of us got!
Working on doughnut number 3, or 4... but who's counting?
Yup, this one came too. He didn't seem to mind sitting on the wet, cold ground.
Isaac about to launch one at his sis.
Jared took the little ones home (thank you!) after that and just Kyah and Isaac accompanied me in to watch the skating. Again, the feeling wasn't quite as awesome as I was expecting/hoping for, but it was still a very enjoyable event. I had a good time explaining what little I know about the sport to the kids, and we talked about the different countries the skaters came from. Kyah and I did our best to identify the various country flags hanging from the rafters. When the races started we made to sure to cheer on the Japanese skaters along with the ones representing the USA. There were 22 countries represented, and though we didn't see anyone break a world record or even a track record, we were in awe of how fast those skaters raced around the rink. I think there was a grand total of 3 seconds separating the first place finisher from the last. I'm glad we went; it was a fun experience.
The flags from each country represented.
Cheering them on!
Isaac caught the fastest female Japanese skater in this pic. She placed 7th in the preliminary races we saw.
The fastest female American placed 3rd in the races we saw. :)
Showing off their freebies
The Green Man Group, a drumline from the U of U performed after the women's 500m races.
The finished Delicate Arch. Nicely done, chainsaw master.