Saturday, March 13, 2010

Short Essay: Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

From February 12th to February 28th, Metro Vancouver was inundated with many thousands of international visitors. Along with the athletes came their families, friends and spectators to witness the athletes doing their very best to win medals. The venues for these competitions were in Vancouver, Whistler Mountain, Cypress Mountain and Richmond. The athletes were housed in Olympic Village in the heart of Vancouver. There were the usual glitches due to weather conditions that resulted in some competitions being postponed or spectators not being able to witness some of these competitions as the weather turned out to be warmer than expected.

Then there was the cultural Olympiad that was evident everywhere in the Vancouver area; there were a varied form of entertainment that included a broad range of musical artists and bands. During the day the streets were filled with people milling around and visiting the individual country pavilions as well as the different Canadian provincial pavilions showcasing the beauty of the vast expanse of Canada; the lineups were long, orderly and well worth the visits to the different pavilions. It was like one great big fair that lasted for two weeks. The nights were abuzz with music, dining and special concerts. As a resident of Metro Vancouver, it was an extraordinary “happening.” As we walked in our familiar streets, it was especially wonderful to observe and engage with the international visitors in small or long conversations about Canada.

My favourite competitions were the skating events including the ice dancing. I was awestruck by Joanie Rochette who skated to win the bronze medal despite the very tragic and sudden death of her mother. We all watched her every move on ice with bated breath. She captured the hearts and minds of everyone as she skated to the victory podium. Towards the end of her skate, it was particularly poignant to observe her lift her hands up in recognition of her mother watching over her. That was memorable!

Vancouver is still abuzz with Olympic fever as this city continues to host the Winter Paralympics which commenced on March 12th.

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