Friday, February 26, 2010

Game on

I've been indifferent to the Olympics coming to Vancouver since the talk started so many years ago. Not for it, not against. 

I was surprised then, to find myself getting excited as the opening ceremonies approached. I've been following closely since the start in a way I've not since the 1984 summer games in Los Angeles.

Last weekend I decided I couldn't sit so near in Victoria and not go check it out. As soon as I reached the ferry terminal I realized Olympic fever was everywhere.

Venues are cowded, people wait in long lines, but there's a lot of consideration and patience. Those long lines move more quickly and efficiently than I thought west coasters capable of.

Last Saturday I ambled around downtown Vancouver. It reminded me of being in Asia where there's always lots happening on the streets.

The vibe was fantastic. People seem to be loving the packed streets. I was party to many little exchanges where people from various nations attempted to trump each other with compliments about their respective homelands. 

At times in the past few weeks, Canada's sudden nationalism has made me uncomfortable. At times I think about how many other ways the billions could have been spent. But most of the time, I've enjoyed these games more than I have any others I've watched since I was a kid.


aka Penelope said...

You expressed what I believe many Canadians are feeling … a little surprised at being captured by the moment! When push comes to shove even non-aggressive thoughtful folk want to jump up and down, scream, cheer, show support and take pride in their country. We’re not immune to the patriotism all countries share. And as your great picture shows, we all need a Pit Stop in the end. :)

Heather Reid said...

Thanks Penelope. Yes, I've been hearing similar sentiments from many people. Overall I think it's a good thing for our little insecure country as long as we go back to the modesty and quiet good works that the rest of the world used to love us for.

George said...

It’s nice to be nice but we Canadians are too apathetic. I hope that Olympic energy remains when the “political games” begin, which will be as soon as the visitors leave. Lots of issues are coming into play and we citizens must make ourselves aware, even though government is counting on our meekness.