SparkPeople Blogs  •  fitness  •  news

Just Did It: My Trip to Vancouver with Nike

By , SparkPeople Blogger
As I told you last week, I spent about 48 hours in Vancouver, Canada, with the Nike Women’s Training Spring 2010 Media Summit.

The trip was great fun, and I thank Nike for very generously hosting me the entire time I was there. In addition to meeting amazingly inspiring Nike athletes and Olympic hopefuls (they're in the photo Nike provided that's above), I got a sneak peek of Nike's innovations in women's shoes and apparel for 2010--and did a butt-kicking workout with Nike trainers. Plus, I met 30 other writers and editors in the fields of fashion and fitness.

While I had a wonderful time, and I was hard at work the entire time (OK, most of the time) I was there. In the coming weeks and months, I'll be sharing interviews with the athletes, videos of their workouts, plus a sneak peek at the Nike Zoom Fly Sister One+ shoes, set to launch on Jan. 1, 2010. But first, take a look at the timeline of my trip.

Tuesday, Oct. 6

Cincinnati, 4:00 a.m. I awake, too excited to sleep. It's an hour before my alarm, but my body doesn't care. I am awake. And I am going to Vancouver! I decide to do some yoga to get in a workout before the chaos of travel begins.

4:45 a.m. I finish the "rocket" routine I learned in teacher training. It's an energizing 45-minute routine--complete with a handstand (against the wall for me) and the splits. 6:50 a.m. I'm off to Seattle, then Vancouver.

5:30 p.m. Cincinnati time, 2:30 p.m. Vancouver time. I arrive at the airport, where I interpret for a French couple whose immigration agent doesn't speak a word of French. (Note the irony of the American interpreting in a bilingual country!)

3-6 p.m. After checking in at the swanky Loden Hotel, I wander the city with Samia, another Nike Summit attendee. We walked all the way to Chinatown and back, getting in about 120 minutes of pretty good-paced walking.

7 p.m. Head to the penthouse of the Loden for a meet and greet with the other bloggers, writers and editors. The food is great, only rivaled by the company and the view. (I'm a bad blogger, but I was so tired and hungry that I forgot to take photos--except for dessert!)

11 p.m. Fall into bed and a deep sleep. It's now 2 a.m. back home!

Wednesday, Oct. 7
6:30 a.m. A wake-up call, followed by 10 minutes of yoga, a few minutes on Twitter and email, then it's off for a day of presentations and interviews with the Nike athletes.

9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Arrive at the curling center (our home base for the morning) and listen to Martin Lotti, Women's Training Global Creative Director, talk about the sweet shoes all the athletes are rocking (and that we'll all be working out in the next day). The Nike Zoom Fly Sister One+ are super light, with a sole that's been cut by a laser to make it twice as easy to move in any direction than previous versions. Last year's line was pretty lightweight, but they cut another 1.2 ounces from this year's.

We watch as athletes Julia Mancuso (Alpine skiing), Ellery Hollingsworth (snowboarding), Keauna McLaughlin (pairs figure skating), and Katherine Reutter (short-track speed skating) show us how they train off the ice. (The photos are in the order they're mentioned.)

Then we head to the rink, where Angela Ruggiero (women's hockey) and Keauna and her partner, Rockne Brubaker, show off their skills on the ice.

(I'll post my videos next week!)

After lunch, we club into the buses and head to the Richmond Olympic Oval for a tour, a bit of history and more demos, plus interviews with the athletes!

Some of the highlights:

The Richmond Oval, which will house long-track speed skating and the anti-doping lab, is open to the public and has a beautiful ceiling made from reclaimed wood that was destroyed by the pine beetle. It is LEED-certified and sits along the Fraser River. I didn't get too many pictures of the facility itself, but it's really neat!

Jennifer Rodriguez is attempting an Olympic comeback in long-track speed skating. At 33, she has two bronze medals from the Salt Lake City Olympics, and now she's returning for her fourth Olympic Games. Her comeback story is amazing, and I can't wait for you to read her full interview in a few weeks!

7 p.m. We head to dinner in Yaletown, a hip and walkable area of Vancouver.

11 p.m. I fall into a deep sleep, but not before checking out the shoes and workout gear Nike has left in our rooms. What a long day! But there's even more tomorrow.

Thursday, Oct. 8
6 a.m. Another early wake-up call, with a bit of yoga (10 minutes) and a big bowl of steel-cut oats with fruit. I need the fuel for the workout we're about to do!

9 a.m. We board buses and head back to the curling center for a presentation by Nike's apparel team. Then we start our workouts with Nike's trainers. An hour later, I'm dripping with sweat, my arms and legs are shaking, and we're back on the buses, heading to the hotel and--at noon--the airport.

11:45 p.m. (8:45 p.m. Vancouver) I land in Cincinnati. My bag is still in Chicago, but that's OK. It was a great trip, but all I want now is a good night's sleep.

As I said, I'll be posting interviews with the athletes and details about that grueling workout soon. I met some wonderful people, including Samia from, Katie from Girls Life, Tish from (she's in the photo with me above), Kate from, and Margarita from Vitamin G on I also met editors at writers from some really cool magazines and blogs. Thanks, Nike!

Have you ever been to Vancouver? Do you like the Winter Olympics? What is your favorite winter sport? Do you have any questions about the trip?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
See more: fitness news


I love Vancouver B.C. I'm used to adding the BC just like with Washington D.C. cuz I've lived in Washington (state) and Oregon. Just across the Columbia River from Portland is Vancouver, WA. Anyway, I lived in B.C. for about 4 months a few years ago and loved it there. It's beautiful, outdoorsy yet cosmopolitan with so many different cultures. There's alway something to do. Also, I'm a fan of Winter Olympics, especially downhill skiing. I learned to ski from my boyfriend when I was 34 and was just barely an intermediate. Better to learn when you're younger, but the mountains are so lovely, even in bad weather. Great to hear about all this. Thanks. Report
Wow it seems you had a grea time and thanks for sharing your wonderful experience with us. Report
Sounds like you had a wonderful time and met some great people. I was wondering to they bloggers like myself? Would love to take a trip to Vancouver even if for a great workout. Report
thanks for sharing the trip and i really enjoyed the photos. Report
Great blog Stephanie. I live in North Vancouver and I am so pleased that you loved Vancouver. It is such a beautiful place and I cannot wait for the 2010 Winter Olympics to show case our Province. I will also be watching the Speed Skating at the Richmond Oval. I would love to see the hockey games but will be content to see them on TV. Report
Hi Stepfanie! What a great review of the trip to Vancouver! It was great meeting you there and thanks so much for the shout out to my blog :) Boo on your bag not making it out of Chicago as quickly as you did with that short layover but I was glad to read you made the plane, that gate we were dumped off at is so removed from everything and almost as bad as being at the C gates. Anyway, great to meet you and I'm a SP reader now! --kate :) Report
Great photos. I am glad you had a fun and productive trip. Report
I live in Vancouver! (well, just outside of it)
I'm glad you enjoyed my city! Report
I have never been to Vancouver, but if ever i land there, and they need a French translator, I am happy to say that I could help out. I am a bilingual Canadian. Your trip sounded wonderful. Looking forward to reading the interviews. Report
Hi, thanks for the pix and info. Haven't been to Vancouver in years; been retired almost six now so add on at least one more year to that. But have very fond memories of that city. One of the things I always tried to do when traveling to another city/country was add in a day of vacation time and then take a city-wide tour available through the hotel. So your sites rang a bell of fond memories for me. As for the Nike Corp. funding everything. That's just business. They have a budget set aside to pay for hotel rooms/food and maybe a tour or dinner or something special for their guests. It happens in EVERY business and isn't intended to get someone to purchase only their product as much as an opportunity to show their guests who they are and what products they have for consumers. Sometimes big business forgets they have the same rules to play by as everyone else and those are the instances we all see on our TVs. But by and large every single business in this country and every other country does the exact same thing. Nike had excellent products BEFORE your visit and I'm sure will continue to do so with or without any recommendations others might think you color to reflect that. I'm sure as a journalist this just isn't the first convention or trip like this you've been on. Probably one of the most enjoyable since you had your peers around you and got to enjoy the comraderie of the visit. Good for you and I look forward to more of your entertaining articles.
Have to say the color of the new shoes is really pretty ewwwww... HA! Report
wow this sounds like a was a very busy but AWESOME trip! Report
Whew, sounds exhausting but a lot of fun! I hope to get to Vancouver one day soon.
Wish the shoes came in a different color! Report
Hoping to visit Vancouver next Spring...can't wait!

Don, Co-Leader of All Health Professionals, Binghamton Area Losers and Laid Off But Staying Tough SparkTeams Report
Where did you learn to speak French? I can too! It's a long you do anything with your French? What? and more importantly....what do you WANT to do with it?
Betsy Report
I was in Vancouver in 1980. The thing I remember best is all the incredible blue hydrangeas. The ferries were on strike so I spent the two weeks on the mainland without a much longed for trip to the Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island. But I did meet a US celebrity.
My sister in law had just opened the Scott Road Fitness Centre and her promotions included a former Mr. Universe conducting a seminar televised on Cable 4. The Mr. Universe stayed at her house...slept in the bed I occupied the next night. Who - well Mr. California Guvn'r Arnold Schwarteneger. I did meet him as I came in on the red eye arriving Sunday at 7:00 AM and he left after dinner at Trader Vics Sunday PM. Heck of a claim to a brush with celebrity, eh? I slept in Arnold Schwartzeneger's bed - the next night. I wonder if he remembers that Freddy (my sister in law - deceased now) had a stack of books under the bed sort of holding up the middle. Report
Have gone to the "island" on business, would live there in a heartbeat! Great article, looking forward to the rest, if anything try to find pics that you did not get to take so you can post them for us. Snowboarding and skiing are my winter past times..
James Report
Welcome back Stephanie!

Glad to hear you had an amazing time in Vancouver. Looks like a tough job flying everywhere and meeting pro-athletes! Report
Yellow and orange are not my colors to me they could not pay me enough to wear them. Sorry Report
I want them---they are orange---my color---oh, my gosh---do we have to wait til January? Report
I was a resident of Vancouver from 1984 to 1994, and this makes my heart ache to move back!!!

Sadly there is no mention of the high cost of living in the city, and a less than 1% vacancy rate for rental properties... or the deficit that the Olympics are racking up for the province of B.C. The other face of Vancouver is not so pretty. Report
Beautiful city and great pics/commentary. I think I will have to go there one day! It sounds like you had a fabulous (and busy!) time! Report
Loved the article and the pictures! I think I will need to put Vancouver on my list of places I want to visit. Report
That's pretty funny you had to translate in Canada. Very nice photos and story on Vancouver, I live 75 k inland and love the city, where you can sail, golf and ski all in the same day. Report
I love Vancouver! Thanks for the photo's. My favorite winter sport is downhill skiing, but I would really like to try snowboarding! One of the greatest views and places in Vancouver is the North Shore, It is breathtaking! Report
Absolutely beautiful photos! Report
Thanks you for great pictures !! the blog was great thakns again for the update Report
CRANBYRRE: Very easily! I can offer an honest opinion right now.

I like the shoes, but one initial complaint is that they weren't great for lateral moves.

Nike paid for the trip, but the company understands that we writers and editors are going to be honest. Any review that SparkPeople writes, of a product that we're given or one we paid for ourselves, is honest and unbiased. I am a trained journalist, and I can assure you that I, along with everyone else here, takes ethics and honesty very seriously. Report
Wow! Great trip, great blog, great pics. Thanks for sharing.

Standing on an exercise ball??? Who are they kidding? LOL Report
Here in Vancouver USA, we refer to the BC city as the "other Vancouver" - but we love to visit! I spent a week there this summer at a convention with two friends, and we walked all over, going 7 miles or more most days (depending on our meeting schedule). It's a beautifully warm and friendly city, very clean compared to our typical big cities. I especially enjoyed our Sunset Dinner Cruise - it had been a cloudy, slightly drizzly day, but the sun came out in time for the cruise - just beautiful. Report
I love Vancouver! I grew up in Kamloops..and my brothers live in Van. Great city..If you get the chance to's worth it. Report
Looks like a fantastic trip! I just wish that Nike would realize that many women (like me!) wear a size 11 or 12 and would make them more readily available. I tend to shy away from Nike's women's shoes because I find that they run small. Oh well. Report
This sounds wonderful and fun and educational.


I have one real question: if Nike sponsored this whole trip, how are you going to give an honest and bias free review of the shoes? Report
I have a friend who lives in Vancouver! She loves it!! Report
Thank your for sharing your trip like that. The place looks beautiful. I love watching the couples ice skating. very romantic! Report
Great blog! I've been to Vancouver 2 or 3 times & love it. Hope to return & show it to hubby!!! Report
Wow! It looks and sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I am eager to see those new Nike shoes.
I love watching Ice Skating on TV.

I have never had the priviledge of visiting Canada, but is sounds like Vancouver is a beautiful city. Report
If I could stand on a balance ball like that, I could take over the world! LOL!

Can't wait for the Vancouver Olympics... not only because I love the Winter Olympics, but also because Barenaked Ladies will be performing, and their drummer, Tyler Stewart, just became the Entertainment Director of the Molson Hockey House! :D Report
GReat blog and good pictures. I love Vancouver and am proud that the Richmond stadium just won ans award. Thank you showing us how you spent your time. Can't wait to see the videos and interviews. Report
Have been to Vancouver many times. It is a fantastic city to walk and has wonderful public transportation. Trams, buses and train schedules all work together - "interesting" concept that .Seattle needs to take lessons from! Report
Great articles I loce the pictures to. I would love to do something like that who would of thought Nike could be so fun. Report
Wow, I am SO impressed with Julia Mancuso's balance and strength in the picture of her on the fitness ball - amazing! The pics are great, Steph! I am really looking forward to reading more about your trip. The Winter Olympics rock! I've never been to Vancouver, but it looks like a wonderful place to visit. Report
Great article - loved the pics too! Report
Wow, sounds like a lot packed into one great trip. I really like Nike shoes, and apparel too. I really enjoy the figure skating the best. The athletes always amaze me with their strngth, and grace. I also realy enjoy the speed skating. That has to be really tough! Report
I am dying to visit Vancouver. I have a friend who lives there and has almost convinced me to move, without visiting! Now I just have to convince the hubs! :) Report
Cool blog - thank you for sharing! I can't wait to hear the rest of the story.
I've visited Vancouver and found it to be a beautiful, clean city. So nice that you had an opportunity to do some walking there. Report
It is a wonderful city. I was there about a week earlier than you were. I loved spending hours wandering the streets of Vancouver, walking Stanley Park, visiting the Sun Yat Sen Gardens and driving Highway 99 to Whistler. Report
Incredible! I still have yet to go to Vancouver! I feel like a bad Canadian! I must go! Report
Pretty cool shoes. so glad you enjoyed our fair city. More time would have been great for you. we live in such a wonderful place in the world. And I bet you weren't even cold. LOL Report
awesome pix, terrific time, and what a whirlwind! woooohooooo! yeah, i LOVE the olympics, winter AND summer. i'll watch whatever i can on tv because i can't go. it doesn't matter what's on: wrestling, hockey, figure skating, skiing, i'm there. and vancouver sounds like a dreamplace. no, i've never been to the west coast of canada, but i hope to someday. hope your luggage found its way back to you. i'm REALLY looking forward to more of your pix, insights, blogs, and tips! you are a wonderful coach! rock on and thanks for everything you do and bring to us sparkers! nancy Report
When I lived in Bellingham, WA, we used to travel to Vancouver for fun mini vacations :) I love it there. I like watching winter sports on TV during the Olympics, but winter is not my favorite season to live in.

Thank you for blogging about your trip and sharing the pictures. I am so impressed by the 'off-ice' training pics. WOW! Report