1) Go early. Be there for the opening day when the line-ups for all of the free houses and events will be smaller.
2) Stay longer. To really take advantage of the extra stuff outside the sports events and to enjoy the fun atmosphere, you need some sports-free days. Don’t book too many events.
3) Start buying your tickets early. Sign up for the organizers’ emails and Tweets and buy as soon as possible. I am sure the next organizers will also have a safe Fan-to-fan site where you can sell any extras, and also buy more tickets, although usually at a premium.
4) Be prepared for line-ups. Vancouver is the largest city ever to organize the Winter Olympics (2.5 million inhabitants in Metro Vancouver) and that accounts for some of the line-ups here, but expect to see them in London and even Sochi (pop. under 400,000), too.
5) Carry as little as possible. Security is tight and line-ups at venues can get tiresome, so carry no big bags or backpacks.
6) Wear your colors. Bring flags, pins, hats and mitts, and whatever else you can wave and give away that represents your country. The camaraderie and rivalry are a big part of the fun. The Dutch really shone in Vancouver, handing out free orange foamy mitts at the transit exits near the speed skating venues.
7) Avoid eating at the venues. With sponsors extending their reach to all venues, it is quite expensive and boring to eat the same stuff and drink the same bad coffee at all events (sorry, Coke.) Eat before you go, eat in the line-up outside, bring fruit, snacks and water for the waiting period. In Vancouver, you were not supposed to bring food or drinks into the venues but I saw many – among them me – eating their own snacks.
8) Be prepared to have FUN! 'Nuff said.
Tuija wants to give an extra shout-out to her partner, Ted Topping, for taking so many excellent photos. We agree. Thanks Ted! Check out the 2010 Winter Olympics photo galleries here.