Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010: A Retrospective

We own the Goldium.  That’s what the Canadian Olympic Committee should have said.But be fair, Canada has never been too strident or as overtly obnoxious as to potentially offend anyone.  This time was different.  Very different.  This time we had a PLAN.  Boy, did we execute the plan!

The opening ceremonies — indoors; the cauldron under the dome (another first for Canada).  Three out of four columns lit, not bad, better than average.  Catriona LeMay-Doan would get another chance during the closing.  Gretzky has four backups to light the indoor cauldron (great Canadian negotiation, great Canadian compromise; we’re highly regarded for that as well).  Wayne’s route to light the outdoor flame was blocked by protestors — no problem, divert the pickup truck.  Gretz was perfect; stiff upper lip as drunken protestors chase him down Georgia Street while the bewildered TV audience is none the wiser thanks to equally bewildered broadcast announcers.  The cauldron lights beautifully so that people can watch it glow from behind a chain-link, barb-wired, plexi-glassed fence.

The flame stays cordoned-off for the entire games.  Sheeesh!  I still can’t figure that one out, it seems like pure stubbornness to me.

Our deepest sympathies  and sorrow for Nodar Kumaritashvili’s fatality at the sliding centre.  It was a sad event which marred the early going.  Our hearts went out to his teammates, family and countrymen.  The officials saw to it that his passing would not be forgotten and his spirit would live on as the games moved forward.  Vanoc and the Games officials handled the situation with class and sincerity, I thought.

A bumpy start.  Literally.  A winter games during the Vancouver spring — who knew.  No problem, we’ll just truck white stuff in from Manning freakin’ Park — 200 miles away.  At $1000 bucks a truck load….for one week straight.  Cheers to the blue-shirt volunteers on Cypress.  Do they give gold medals for slavery?  Their efforts matched our athletes.  Cypress should be renamed Volunteer,  no make that volun – tear peak.

After  smoothing things out, the Games settled into a nice flow.  Alexandre Bilodeau lit the fire for Canada with the first Gold on home soil.  A dream athlete to fulfill an Olympic dream for us.  Clearly we were inspired.  Fourteen, 14,  four -TEEN gold,  G-O-L-D medals.  Twenty-six medals all tolled.  Third highest total at the games.  Canada set a world record for golds by a host country.  Not even in our wildest dreams….

But that’s not even the point.  Canadians would have cheered and been proud with half that number.  It was the WAY  WE  DID  IT!

What a great show!  As the West Coast of the country finally got to show the rest of Canada and the World what we are about. The most beautiful place on earth.  With due respect for all the others, of course.

The athletes.  Canada sent the second biggest contingent to the Games after the U.S.   Just over 200.  They made us so proud.  I have never seen so many Canadian flags or painted maple leaves on cheeks in my life.  Clara Hughes, Maelle Ricker, Jon Montgomery, Ashleigh McIvor, Christine Nesbitt, Charles Hamelin, Teresa Virtue, Scott Moir, Jennifer Heil, Kaillie Humphries, Heather Moyse, Helen Upperton, Shelly-Ann Brown, Mike Robertson, the Women’s Hockey Team, The Men’s Hockey Team, The Men’s Curling Team, The Women’s Curling Team, Marianne St-Gelais, The Ladies 3000m Short Track Relay Team, Francois-Louis Tremblay, the Men’s 5000m Relay Team, Jasey Jay Anderson, Kristina Groves, Alexandre Bilodeau, Men’s Team Pursuit Speed Skating Team,  Men’s Four-Man Bobsleigh Team, and the indomitable Joannie Rochette — all were proud medallists for Canada.

The whole team was a credit to the nation.  This Games will rekindle our pride in amateur sport and renew our commitment to Olympic funding.  The payoff, if we need to look for one is immeasurably positive.  The value of sport for nation building knows no peer in Canada.

What an incredible inspiration.  The Men’s Hockey Final was one for the ages.  Overtime and a win against the U.S. thanks to the Wizard of Sid.  Ten days after and the buzz in Vancouver continues.  The rest of the country knows us now.  Vancouver takes its rightful place as the most beautiful big city in North America.  Want proof, check the video  — and the smiles on visitors’ faces.

Cheers to Vanoc and the Canadian Olympic Committee.  On this one — the Vancouver Games — they got it right.  The coaches, team staff, their support, their technology, everyone nailed a winning combination.  Nobody will quibble over a $110 million budget well-spent.  Canadians everywhere are rightfully proud of this team and this Olympics. The glow on this one will last for a long, long time.

About andisoa

Mac fan, NeXT advocate-pioneer-administrator, golfer, sportsfan Photographer, history buff, reformed economist Technology lover, hotrods, gadgets, trainsets, r/c drones
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