Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympic 2010 Vancouver

Today was the opening ceremonies for the winter Olympics in Vancouver. The air in the Lower Mainland today was electric with the spirit of the games. The enthusiasm was tangible. Such an incredible energy to be part of it. The day started with the tragic news of an accident which took the life of a young Georgian athlete who was killed on a training run on the Luge track. Very sad news indeed. Allthough his loss did overshadow the day, Vancouver did find consolation in the Olympic spirit however, and the overall feeling was of pride and celebration.
Unfortunately, Keith had to work. So Heidi and I headed to Vancouver on the sky train without him. There was a sea of people dressed in red to show patriotism to Canada. also many in the Olympic colours of ice blue and lime green, colours that represent the water and the trees of BC.
On the streets of Vancouver, there was a party atmosphere. I am so glad we went down to be part of it. We could have stayed home and watched it from the comfort of our warm couch, but it doesn't compare to being there amongst the crowd.
The Olympic flame has made its way across Canada over the past few months. Today it traced its way throughout the Downtown area of Vancouver. The streets were lined with enthusiastic onlookers. Many carrying Canada flags tied to hockey sticks! Preceding the Olympic torch runner, was this group of flag wavers on a Zamboni Machine.
When the runner turned the corner and came into view, the crowd went wild and a robust cheer went up. Here, the runner, in the white uniform, carries the flame and gives the cheering crown the "thumbs up" gesture! The final destination for the torch was BC Place Stadium, where the opening ceremonies were held. It can be seen at the background, through that next traffic light. The white dome on the stadium, blends into the clouds and doesn't show up well in this photo. But click on the photo to enlarge it and look closely and you can see two people standing on the roof!
Everywhere you looked, there were maple leafs and Canada flags. This was probably the largest one!
The stadium seats 60,000 people. But many people weren't able to get seats in there. Anticipating this, the organizers set up "Live Sites". Places where they had large screens playing the ceremonies. This way, we were able to be part of the crowd to enjoy the festivities amongst other Canadians and many visitors from other countries. The crowd cheered and sang along, as though they were right inside the stadium. It was amazing!!!!!!! The ceremonies were stunning and I was thrilled by the beauty of the show. We stood shivering in the rain and wind, but I would not have missed it for the world. Several times through the day I found myself with a tear in my eyes and my heart filled with pride. As I type this, I am watching the ceremony rerun on tv at 1:25 am! I think I will be able to watch it again and again!


Penny said...

You are fortunate to be so close to all the Olympic action and excitement. We watched the opening ceremonies on t.v. I was so proud of our Canadians.
So tragic for that young Olympian, his teammates, and especially his family.
I will be spending the next two weeks glued to my t.v.

Penny said...

BTW, I responded on my blog to your comment, re: my FIL.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Susan, for that lovely blog, I know just how much feeling you had to be part of the action. Dad and I watched the ceremony on t.v. I thought it was probably the best that I had had ever seen. Maybe not as much 'bling' as some of the past openings, but I felt it held the spirit of the games just wonderfully and everything was just magical. The hitch with the cauldron coming up was the only blio, and that did not detract from a wonderful ceremony.

I thought the choice of people chosen to carry the Olympic flag and carry the torches was good too. I hope the lack of snow is soon solved, so things can get on track.

Gerald (Ackworth born) said...

It must have been a marvellous atmosphere.

Deanna said...

YOU are brave women! I happily watched it from the comfort of the homestead... and PVR'd it... I will like watching KD Lang over and over again!

Herman said...

This is an event you only see once in a live time I guess. This time it shows the real spirit of the Olympic Games. Competition in sports and solidarity between countries and people in the world.

Walker said...

You are4 so lucky you are t5heyre and can participate in some way to the Olympics.
We in the rest of Canada are cheering from our couches.
The tragedy that started the games with the Georgian athlete being killed was a shock to everyone it shows that there is a chance of danger but it also shows that the Olympic and world community come together to show their grief and their compassion to his family and country.

GO CANADA GO!!!!!!!!!!