Making Memories At The Olympics

I just returned from a whirlwind trip to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics, as a guest of P&G Beauty, an official sponsor of the Winter Olympic Games. While there I got a chance not only to see two of the events (Ice Dancing and Speed Skating, whoo hoo!), I also got to spend some time at the P&G Family Home, a literal oasis for Team USA and their families.


The Family Room

P&G put a strong emphasis on family with these Olympics (if you’ve been watching NBC’s coverage at all, you’re sure to have seen the beauty brand’s adorable “Thanks, Mom” commercials) and the Family House was the culmination of this. Divided into five levels, it featured themed rooms that catered to all members of the family. On the first floor was a giant “family” room that was stocked with pillows, chairs, laptops and two giant screens so people could watch the various events.

The second floor contained a concierge service that gave updates on everything from the days medal counts, to event procedures to things to do in Vancouver. The third floor was home to a bevy of branded rooms, including the “Man Cave”, aka the Pringles room. Did you know there are over 22 flavors of Pringles? I sampled a good portion of them, including some oddball ones like Cheeseburger and 3-Layer Mexican Nachos. Like I said, a little crazy. The Man Cave also contained video games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero to keep the boys (and girls!) entertained.

Also on the third floor was a Tide laundry service that did laundry for the families and the athletes, which turned out to be an unexpected blessing. We heard that the Olympic Village only provided quarter machines, so athletes were spending precious time feeding quarters into a washer and waiting for their laundry. More than a few of them were ecstatic about the Tide service as it freed them to focus on more important things, like competing.


The cutest room in the house, The Pampers Village!

The Pampers Village was by far one of my favorite rooms in the house. It was an area designated for the little ones and their frazzled parents. Many of the athletes are parents to young children, so having a place for their kids to play and just escape all the insanity was invaluable. I loved all the cute toys and the oversized bench.

Rounding out the third floor offerings was the Crest and Oral-B room. Here they got all high-tech on us, offering a green screen which you could pose in front of and be superimposed into an Olympic-themed scene. I chose to go the Shaun White route and get my snowboard on. I totally look believable, right?


Getting glammed up at the Beauty Lounge

Finally there was the fourth floor, which held one of the fave rooms in the house: The P&G Beauty and Grooming Lounge. It was stocked with all the latest goodies from CoverGirl, Pantene and Olay and featured a friendly group of Vancouver beauty pros who provided everything from leg massages to blowouts to makeup application. I had my hair done by the fabulous Liz, who gave me a super-bouncy curly hairstyle using Pantene’s appropriately named Ice Shine Maximum Hold Hairspray.

All week I heard inspiring stories from athletes and their families about how wonderful the P&G Family Home was. My favorite story came from bronze medal-winning speed skater Chad Hedrick and his family. His gorgeous wife Lynsey was getting her makeup touched up in the Beauty Lounge and told me all about the many special moments her and her family had shared at the Family Home.


Lynsey, Hadley and Chad are all smiles in the Pampers Village.
Photo: © Procter & Gamble

Chad and Lynsey’s 11-month-old daughter Hadley took her first steps in the Pampers Village with her proud parents looking on. “It’s been she and I and Daddy’s off training for the Olympics, so our big concern was whether he was going to be able to see it,” said Lynsey. “It just turned out that he happened to be there and she decided to walk. I think she’s trying to follow in her daddy’s footsteps with wanting to blow everybody away with new things.” That wasn’t the only big news for the Hedrick clan. A few nights later, Lynsey’s younger brother proposed to his girlfriend of four years in the main dining room in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

I asked Lynsey if it was safe to say that the P&G Family Home had provided her and her family with lots of great memories and she was enthusiastic in her response. “It’s incredible. From the laundry to, especially for me, the Pampers room where Hadley can play and be entertained and be happy. There have been so many special memories made at this house for my family. I wish I could go around and hug every person here,” she said.

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