American Pairs skaters at Grouse Mountain

American Pairs skaters having some early-morning fun on the pond at Grouse Mountain.

There’s more to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Hundreds of thousands of people stream into Vancouver every day to take in free events surrounding the Games – from Atlantic Canada House on Granville Island, to NBC’s Today SHow taping live every morning at Grouse Mountain.

Andrea Bruns, a North Vancouver freelance photographer and writer, took her daughter to Grouse Wednesday to watch NBC’s Today Show live – and got to experience some special moments. Here it is in her words, and with her pictures:

By Andrea Bruns

Visit Andrea’s website

Looks like Olympic figure skaters also have fun at Grouse Mountain. Some of them appeared Feb. 17 before dawn at the skating pond to be broadcast for NBC’s Today show.

The live broadcast is happening every morning from 4 to 7 a.m. and is one of the numerous free events during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics at Grouse Mountain.

Everybody is able to attend, you just need to get up early. They always have Olympic athletes as guests; and usually one of the medalists from the previous day.

We didn’t get tickets for any Olympic competitions, but my daughter loves skating, so we decided to rise early Wednesday to go up there and meet American Pairs skaters Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett and Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig.

American Pairs skaters at Grouse Mountain NBC

American Pairs skaters Caydee Denney, Jeremy Barrett, Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig with NBC's Natalie Morales.

We arrived around 5:30 a.m. at the top of Grouse Mountain, just as the Olympian’s started to do some warm up rounds on the ice at the skating pond.

It looked like they were enjoying themselves without the pressure of the competition.

Also as special guest that morning, was Canada’s first female Gold Medalist of these Games, Maelle Ricker, who won Tuesday’s Ladies’ Snowboard Cross.

Maelle Ricker at Grouse Mountain

For my daughter and me, it was worthwhile getting up at an early hour.

If you would like to know who is coming next check out the postings at NBC Today Show.

Enjoy the Olympics!

Andrea Bruns is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in North Vancouver.