Billy’s Blog: My First Day In Vancouver

Yesterday was my first full-blown work day. I hosted the show from Vancouver and it looked great. Maria is doing a GREAT job in Whistler, so we have the games covered.

The highlight of the day was a riveting ending to Pairs’ skating. We watched patiently as two Chinese pairs dueled to the finish. I must admit I am confused by the scoring, however, since most teams had a spill and yet still finished ahead of the American team of Evora/Ladwig. I’m waiting for Scott Hamilton to explain this to me…I understand that there’s a “degree of difficulty” factor with the routines, but I don’t get attempting the impossible, failing and still scoring high.

It seems you should get credit for executing the plan. Anyway, I know nothing of the intricacies of the sport, my opinion is that of an outsider.

After Pairs Skating, we went to dinner at il Giardino di Umberto, aka ‘Umberto’s,’ and it was amazing. Aside from the authentic Italian cuisine, Wayne Gretzky was at the table next to ours. He is ‘The Great One’ but who knew he was so nice, interested and engaging. He sat with the head of Canada hockey, the Edmonton Oilers owner and a few other Canadian Hockey dignitaries…I LOVE hockey so their hospitality was especially memorable. Wayne said his wife Janet is a true Access Hollywood diehard, so he wants to come on air with us. Scheduling now.

On the way out, the Canadian Figure skating folks were having a party for their Pairs, whom we had watched earlier, and it was priceless. Understand that Access Hollywood is very popular in Canada so my recognizability is higher than even I’m used to. As we’re gathering coats to leave and I’m chatting with some of the skaters, a hush comes over the room. The president of Skate Canada is prepping to toast his athletes. I gave him a spontaneous intro. We all laughed as it was unpolished although from the heart. Oh my, this was fun.

In the end, my time chatting with Wayne Gretzky was an all-time highlight for me. What a nice guy.

Vancouver rocks…tomorrow, we do it again. Hope you’re watching and enjoying.


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