My coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics came and went like a dream. It’s hard to imagine that it actually happened yet alone that the closing ceremonies were just a few weeks ago.
I wandered down to the cauldron after work the other day to snap some pictures of the flame while it burns for the remainder of the 2010 Paralympics. I’m ashamed at my lack of coverage of this portion of the games, but there is simply not enough time to get out to everything that I’d like to with the day job taking up much of my weekdays.
True North Media House, on the other hand, has been going strong this entire time. There has been a great representation of social media generated content during the Paralympics, probably giving more timely and accesible coverage to these events than what the official broadcast rights holders are producing.
At least what I know is that if I want to know how the sledge hockey games are going, all I have to do is tune into Twitter for score updates. Shortly after that, you can expect to see photos on Flickr with the tnmh tag.
Seeing the flame for the first time was an experience. My nerves were on fire on this morning, simply because I was so excited for this to actually start happening. I was fortunate to not only have it come through the west end of Vancouver but also have it pass by where I work.
One of two events we got to check out, the women’s hockey game between Canada and Slovakia was a great experience. Aside from the 18-0 blowout making the game somewhat lacking in terms of overall excitement, it was a true preview of the party that was just starting in Vancouver in terms of Canadian pride.
To me, this is what the Olympics really is all about. You have so many people in one location, bonded by the spirit of competition. Inherently, this seems to breed an atmosphere of friendliness that is hard to describe better than that. New friends and old ones, it’s all about having a good time.
Ferg and the whole Molson crew that invited all sorts of folks to the Vancouver brewery for hockey watching and all around good times are to be commended. They opened the doors, the taps, and provided food to a number of folks.
And then all the country pride…
And the crowds with the spontaneous breakouts of “Oh, Canada” almost every five minutes…
And all of the houses and events…
Club Bud at the Commodore Ballroom
House of Switzerland
The Royal Canadian Mint
Northern Canada House
At this point, this all seems like it happened such a long time ago. Everyone that I talk to feels that way. The memory remains, but the spirit has slowly left the city wondering what’s going to happen next. How do you fill the void of an event like this?
Time will tell, and life will adjust in Vancouver. The talk is to now make a day in remembrance of what was with these Olympics in B.C., and it makes sense. February is the one month without a statutory holiday in this province while the rest of Canada seems to have at least one long weekend in the same month.
You’ll never be able to recapture these moments though. There might be an attempt, but it will never compare.
One thing I’ve said repeatedly to Rebecca over the course of those two weeks is that the United States would have a hard time even coming close to the amount of fun, relaxed atmosphere, and pure patriotic pride that Canada had with these Olympics.
I can’t explain it better than simply Canadians being proud to be Canadian.
This wasn’t forced or contrived. This was real. This was genuine and contagious. People wanted to party for the sake of their homeland, not just the sporting events going on around them. It wasn’t about being the best (even though the gold medals did roll in) as much as it was just for the sake of what being Canadian is to the people that make up this land.
Canada winning the gold medal in men’s hockey certainly made these folks lift their heads up and pump their chest out a little, but the game was born in this country, not to mention it being a near religion.
Can you say the same about baseball or football in the U.S.?
Not even close.
This is what I’ll probably remember the most about these games. No matter where you were in this city, you were apart of something bigger than anyone ever imagined. It was positive. It was electric. It was wonderful.
I can cross this one off my list of things to do and see before I die. Even though I might try to go to another Olympics in the future, it will never be like Vancouver. I’m lucky to have been here.
See all of my photos in this collection on Flickr: Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics
See all of my blog posts in the category: Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics