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12 days to the Paralympics – Peace and melancholy in Vancouver…

March 1, 2010

Just a short one tonight.  I am hoping to post tomorrow about the Houses and Pavilions that will be open during the Paralympics (the list is much shorter than during the Olympics unfortunately) but for tonight it is about recovery and loss.

We have just lived through the loudest, proudest and best 17 days that Vancouver and the region has ever seen.  Everything was constant, non-stop.  There were athletic events, art openings, parties, hospitality suites, tours, activities… nearly anything you could ever want to do was here.  And today, the day after a great Gold Medal hockey game and the Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics… there is quiet.  Some of my first sights of the day were of the Vectorial Elevation art installation being taken apart.  And Swiss House, and Atlantic Canada House, and LiveCity Yaletown.  The places that brought line-ups of people are empty, except for the few workers taking them apart.

I know it had to end.  And in some ways I’m not unhappy for it to be over.  The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics were visually stunning, athletically fierce, emotionally buoying and physically draining!  I certainly couldn’t keep up that level of participation much longer than the 17 days that we had, but still… I miss the red and white on the streets and on the people already (I haven’t given mine up yet, I figure I don’t have to return to ‘normal’ life until after the Paralympics).  I miss high-fives and grins from ear-to-ear.  In short, I’m melancholy for the time we had.  I don’t regret that it is over, I gave every bit of energy and attention I could to the Games, but somehow I wish we could keep it a bit longer.

And, I guess, in many ways we will.  I believe that the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics touched many people’s lives, especially Vancouverites and really all Canadians.  We learned that we could be loud and patriotic and that it is really, really fun to do so.  I don’t think Canada will ever be the same.  I don’t think that Vancouver will ever be called a ‘no-fun city’ like it had previously been labelled before the Olympics.  No, we likely won’t have an event quite like this one again in this city in my lifetime, but we can certainly get behind a lot of other smaller but still exciting events.  I know I’ll certainly be making more effort to support things like our Vancouver International Film Festival and I hope that we will continue to have our wonderful Celebration of Light firework competitions in the summer.  We have Bard on the Beach, wonderful art galleries like the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, the ComedyFest, and so much more.  It’s not just hockey we got behind during the Games, it was so much more.  I think maybe now we may know what sort of party our city can throw and we’ll be lining up to be involved every step of the way!

For now I’m going to rest up for the Paralympics because it’s going to be busy again!  I aim to get to some Houses that I didn’t make it to during the Olympics, as well as attend events (tickets are cheap! you should be going!!), as well as volunteer and hopefully meet some athletes.  I’m back in the Village for my volunteering and if nothing else hope to meet Adam, Graeme and Brad again from the Canadian Sledge Hockey team.  I will try to keep you informed of what’s happening during the Paralympics and continue to share this journey with you.  Until then… Thank you merci.  Good night, bonsoir.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Ken Read permalink
    March 2, 2010 12:01 am

    Thanks for taking the time from such a busy schedule to write these blogs.
    While you’ve been doing that I’ve been busy trying to capture the incredible
    energy thru pics I’ve been posting on my Facebook.
    I totally agree with you………it’s sad to see it all come to an end and wake up
    to empty streets with cars instead of people, and workers busy taking down all
    the art, stages, lighting, etc. But ya, we knew it had to end. The time and energy
    spent by us all was too much to keep up. Many of us were totally consumed.
    The Olympics were everything I expected and lived up to everything I hoped for.
    I live 1/2 block of Robson and to be able to to step out my door into that incredible
    energy anytime of day or night was monumental. I think John Furlong said it so well
    today………”if you were to write a book on the whole experience you couldn’t have
    written a more perfect script than what actually transpired.” So true eh?
    My hat is off to John and all the rest of the volunteers who were always everywhere
    they needed to be, always smiling and helpful, and always doing an incredible. I smile
    and thank anyone I see in a blue Olympic coat and from now on I hope all those smiles
    we’ve all been so freely passing around to each other keep on going on.

  2. Mary permalink
    March 3, 2010 3:25 pm

    Thankyou, I have enjoyed your blogs very much, it is sad that the Olympics have ended but I am pleased that you will be continuing…

    Great message today, I bookmarked each of the events and locations you highlighted.

    I am anxious to visit the Pavilions and sights which will be open during the Paralympics.

    Cheers, Mary

  3. Andrew permalink
    March 3, 2010 4:51 pm

    Hey there

    I love your blog. The streets of downtown Vancouver were sooooo exciting. Will there be pin trading downtown during the paralympics?

    Thanks for sharing ll of your Olympic stories, Andrew

    • 2010vanfan permalink
      March 11, 2010 10:50 am

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for commenting! I do believe there will still be some trading going on during the Paralympics. The Coca-Cola Pin Trading Centre in the Olympic Superstore is probably the best place to go for now. I will post any other places I hear about.

      Cheers,
      Andrea

  4. Sarah permalink
    January 22, 2011 11:48 pm

    I think, in your lifetime that Vancouver will get another shot at hosting the Winter Games, or the Summer Games, or the Commonwealth Games! You have proved you are a world class stage and whatever bid you guys put in for next, Vancouver will be a definite contender, because everyone will want to be a part of that!
    If there’s another winter one, I’ll jump on it like Tonto.

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