Successful Winter Olympics in Vancouver
Malo famili and friends
By this time I believe you've already heard or watched the hightlights of the 2010 Winter Olympics here in Vancouver. The city as a host has been praised like never before for hosting may be one of the best Olympics events - Winter or Summer (e.g. LA, Sydney and Beijing). While the tax-paying locals (us included) may wait for a few more years to really see how successful financially this Olympics is, the Games itself is said to be a great success no matter what and the 'coming-out' party for Canada (sometimes in an unique way)! Vancouver, or downton Vancouver to be exact, turned into a party arena, day and night. I had the opportunity to get on the skytrain with Sebastian and dropped into downtown a few times (Jay sadly was working), and I must say, it was a fantastic experience in a family-friendly atmosphere. We hung out, enjoyed the scene, got some free stuff (you gotta love that!) and met lots of people from all over the world.
But this Olympics is memorable at least for the Canadians for what it does for their country and in projecting its image to the world. What stood out the most was how the event really inspired the whole nation to believe in itself. You'd see red and Canadian maple leafs everywhere and you hear and read great and feel-good stories about the Canadians and how they host. They are not just people who are recognised by their usual polite 'Thank you' and 'I'm sorry'. I think the CEO for this Olympics put it best by saying that Canadians are now "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." In a sense, "This was nation building at its best!" as someone once put it. And when Canada won the men's hockey final last Sunday along with a record-setting 14 gold medals by any country during Winter Olympics, it was simply the icing on the cake.
Throughout the Games there were of course some heartbreaking and memorable stories too: the death of the Georgian luger prior to the Opening; the Canadian figure skater whose mother had just arrived in town only to die from a heart attack and yet her daughter skated 3 nights later to win bronze; the Dutch long-distance speed-skater who was on his way to win Gold only to be disqualified when his coach (of all people) instructed him wrongly to switch lane illegally; the two women skiers who fell and serious injured (one with 5 broken rips and punctured lung during warm up) but refused to give up only to win medals; Russia, once a powerhouse in these Games, won only 3 Golds; the performance of the Korean Queen of Figure Skating and her Japanese rival; Canada winning its first Gold Medal as a host country (none in 1976 Montreal's Summer and 1988 Calgary Winter); the popularity and comfort of the public transports; and who can forget here of course the over-time win in the hockey final against the USA.
Unfortunately for me and my family we weren't able to go to any of the events. I don't think Jay was willing to pay more than $3000 a ticket for the hockey's Gold Medal game between Canada and USA. Well, we enjoyed watching the Games when we can either from one of the outdoor big-screen TVs they installed downtown or any of the events sites (like our very own 'Richmond O-Zone'), or simply from the comfort of our little home.
The other highlights for me include the participation and recognition given to the Native People during the Opening Ceremony and also watching Canadian movie stars and famous artists and musicians involved in the advertisement of the Games and in the opening and closing ceremonies; the likes of Donald Sutherland, Michael J. Fox, William Shatner, Neil Young, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Nelly Furtado, Alanis Morissette, k.d. lang, Michael Buble, Avril Lavigne, Diana Krall, Nickelback, to name a few. Unfortunately I didn't see one of my favourites performed, Shania Twain. :-( I didn't miss Celine Dion though).
Now that the Winter Oympics is over, it is now less than 2 weeks before the beginning of the 2010 Paralymic Games, also to be hosted here in Vancouver. So I suppose the party isn't over yet. We're seriously considering watching one of the events now that the ticket prices are somewhat reasonable. The world now awaits the next Summer Olympics in London in 2012 and Winter in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.
Until our next post, we wish you all the best for the rest of the week. Our sincere thanks to all the other news-contributors. Congratulations again with our prayers and well wishes to the wedding couple, Seini and Jackson. May you both, along with all our families, enjoy the beginning of your new life together.
Stan, Jay & Sebastian.
PS: I will post a few pics here very soon.