TODAY | February 08, 2010
>> al, thank you.
>>> there are now just four days to go until friday's opening ceremony of the 21st olympic winter games in vancouver . "today" national correspondent natalie morales is already there. natalie, good morning to you.
>> reporter: good morning, meredith, from vancouver . and this city, i can tell you, is already buzzing with activity and excitement is building as vancouver gets ready to welcome the world. this glistening city by the sea is getting some extra polish as vancouverites put the final touches on the biggest welcome effort the city has ever seen. flags raised in the athletes village represent more than 80 nations which will compete in these games.
>> the reality finally hits, and flags going up is the icing on the cake .
>> reporter: in a matter of days, this city of 2.2 million becomes a city of 3 million, and mayor gregoire robinson says vancouver is ready.
>> it's been an exhaustive effort. we've really brought canada 's best to vancouver to make sure we're prepared on every front.
>> reporter: from canada 's borders to this working port city , security is tighter than most vancouverites are accustomed to.
>> i arrived about an hour before the flight left. usually i arrive about 20 minutes . so it was quite a bit earlier.
>> reporter: so far, officials say they have no immediate reason for concern.
>> we have the resources, personnel and assets in place, should we need them.
>> reporter: what is a concern is vancouver 's unusually warm weather, one of the warmest on record, along with this city's normal bouts of winter rain, has wiped out snow at cypress mountain , just 30 minutes from downtown and the venue for snowboarding and freestyle skiing. but a contingency plan is in place. snow from the mountain's top has been lowered on to a base of hay to secure the location. just over my shoulder here, you can see the helicopters still dropping crates of hay and snow with less than a week to go before the games begin. these last-minute preparations will mean two less days of practice time for the athletes competing here. still, olympic committee members assure this venue will be ready in time for competition. while green on the slopes has been bad, green for the games has been good. vancouver is billing this olympics as the greenest yet. even the 2010 medals contain medal recycled from electronic waste like old cell phones.
>> let's do luge --
>> reporter: if ticket sales are a measure of success, vancouver can start celebrating. a record number have been purchased, 1.6 million to date, in spite of one of the worst economic downturns in history. nearly every event is sold out. also selling out, the it item to have these games, canada red mittens. got my pair. the excitement and momentum here is built upon years of hard work. and this city is ready to enjoy its moment. so, just to let you all know the forecast here for the rest of the week, more mild weather as well as rain here. so, not such great news, although i am ready with my little red mittens, as you can see, guys. question is, is vancouver ready for you all?
>> oh, well --
>> they don't have a choice, actually.
>> i think so. have a good time.
>> you leave today.
>> i leave tonight.
>> you'll be there tomorrow, doing the show --
>> tomorrow, yeah. i realized i probably packed all the wrong things. heavier clothes.
>> great shopping in vancouver . don't worry about it you'll be fine.
>> pick up that thong if you need it.
>> you'll have to think about repacking.
>> makes no sense. just makes no sense why you would