Wow! What a party that was.
For just over two weeks, Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., hosted the world and did a marvellous job of it. Moreover, the 21st Winter Olympiad may indeed prove to be the greatest in Canadian history on a number of fronts including:
*Canada’s Gold medal haul has never been greater in a single Winter Games (14);
*Sidney Crosby had his “Wayne Gretzky moment” and at just the right time (scoring the winning overtime goal against the U.S. in a thrilling Gold medal hockey finale);
*Canada’s women athletes saved our butts by competing hard and medalling in a number of events;
*For perhaps the first time ever, Canadians weren’t shy about waving our flag and being loud AND proud about it in public.
But now comes the downside: the inevitable end of the Games and all the merriment and hard work that went into it. Call it post-Olympic depression or a Games hangover. Just as you could see and feel the excitement building across this gorgeous city as Feb. 12 approached, so too can one now see the sad acknowledgement that it’s all over in the eyes of nearly every passerby you encounter.
Down come the Olympic signs posted citywide, fewer Vancouverites can be spotted sporting Team Canada apparel, and for all the folks that have tirelessly worked on preparing B.C. to host the Games (some as far back as 2003), their job is almost over. All that’s left is the clean-up. But oh, what memories!
Chin-up B.C. Hold your head high. As VANOC CEO John Furlong said during his brilliant speech at the closing ceremonies in B.C. Place on Feb. 28, “The time has come to say goodbye, to say thank you and to perhaps compare for a moment the Canada that was to the Canada that now is. I believe we Canadians tonight are stronger, more united, more in love with our country and more connected with each other than ever before.
“These Olympic Games have lifted us up. If the Canada that came together on opening night was a little mysterious to some it no longer is.”
Amen to that.
How are you feeling? Will you miss watching the Winter Olympic Games?