It's a long road to Vancouver. Just ask Michael Mannheimer, WW's very own multi-event Olympian. For the past four years, he has trained to completely dominate the 2010 Winter Olympics. One week out, we followed him north to Vancouver, Wash., a city that seemed woefully under-prepared to host an event of this scale. Because of the lack of Olympic infrastructure, Mannheimer had to resort to some unconventional training. But when the Olympics finally arrive in Vancouver, Wash., next week—when the lights go up and the cameras start rolling—you can bet he'll bring home the hardware to make us all proud to call ourselves Portlanders (and therefore, Americans).

EVENT ONE: The Mud-Hop
There's no snow in Vancouver (we are a little worried about this, considering the Games are about to start), but there's plenty of mud.

He makes do.

EVENT TWO: Kid Attack!
Local skateboarders and Razor-riders volunteer to help Mannheimer's training with some impromptu chasing. Then they beat him mercilessly.

EVENT THREE: The Great Burrito Lift
Downtown Vancouver eatery Pepper's Bar & Grill (800 Main St., 737-0322) shows its support by making one of its famous 4-foot burritos ($50) for Mannheimer to press. He works up quite an appetite.

EVENT FOUR: Golden Tee-off
OK, this isn't a training exercise. But Chronis' Restaurant & Lounge (819 Main St., 690-0032) is just the place to rest up between training sessions. Until the game starts cheating. Then it gets ugly.

EVENT FIVE: Bail Jumping
Mannheimer finds himself in legal trouble for public boozing (security is tight for the Winter Games). But he, uh, left his wallet in his other shorts. Yoinks!

SEE IT: The Olympics—live from Vancouver, B.C.—start Friday, Feb. 12, on NBC. See more of Michael “America” Mannheimer’s Vancouver, Wash., Olympic training below:



The best way to please your lover before Valentine's Day? Take them to see Billy Joel and Elton John. Yeah, it's pricey, but it sure beats spending money on edible underwear.

Rose Garden, 1 Center Court, 7:30 pm. $51.50-$177. All ages.



The 33rd annual Portland International Film Festival begins with

I Am Love,

which feels like an Italian ensemble response to

A Single Man,

but much sillier.

Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 276-4310. 7:30 pm. $25.

We profiled openers Best Coast here, but Vivian Girls deserve some ink, too. Nobody these days blends lo-fi punk snarl with sun-kissed girl-group harmonies like this hyped Brooklyn band. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 8:30 pm. $10. 21+.



Third Rail Rep presents Bruce Burkhartsmeier, Brian Weaver and Tim True playing degenerate would-be robbers under the direction of Daniel Stern (of

Home Alone


World Trade Center, 121 SW Salmon St., 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays. Closes March 7. $22-$29.

Party punk rock in a bowling alley? The Mean Jeans had us at "$10 unlimited bowling." AMF Pro 300 Lanes, 3031 SE Powell Blvd., 234-0237. 10 pm. $4 (or $10 plus unlimited bowling). All ages.



Embarrassingly enthralling and awkwardly entertaining—grown-ups shed their dignity to shed light on their painful adolescent memories.

Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., 223-4527. 5 pm. $10 advance, $12 door, 21+.



Yes, it's the musical stage adaptation of the Reese Witherspoon legal comedy, written by a co-creator of

Bat Boy: The Musical

and a co-writer of the screenplay for

Freaky Friday.
Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 241-1802. 7:30 pm Tuesday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 pm Saturday, 1 and 6:30 pm Sunday, Feb. 16-21. $23.25-$73.25.