For the past two weeks I have been an official Olympic nerd. I scavenged for pins, waited in line ups, sat in bars at 9:00 am to watch hockey games, wore red and white each and everyday, and screamed often at the TV in the hope that my loud voice would be heard in the ears of all Olympic athletes going for gold.
Yesterday marked the end of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and the beginning of a country’s right to claim hockey as OUR sport. It is hard to describe what the atmosphere was like yesterday during the hockey game. There was no other experience like it in (my) history. The country was united in the quest for gold. As a nation we cheered together for the SAME hockey team. We were no longer opponents on ice, but teammates from across the NHL. It didn’t matter that our most favored and most feared hockey players were on the same team. What mattered was that they played for Team Canada. From small towns to big cities, you could almost hear the united song of “Oh Canada” as Crosby scored the last goal.
I will miss the energy that the games brought to Vancouver.
I will miss the endless crowds of people downtown, the random questions from tourists asking which bus to take or where Granville Island was located.
I will miss waiting at a restaurant, holding spots for 12 friends for 3 hours before a game.
I will miss seeing Canadian flags draped across the shoulders of men and women.
I will miss the random celebrity sightings along the seawall and Robson Street.
I will miss high-fiving random strangers when we win a medal.
I will miss seeing fireworks and the vector light show every night off my balcony.
… and I will miss that moment when we all watched the Opening Ceremonies and the lighting of the Cauldron.
To all of Vancouver and to the Olympic athletes from across the world, thank you for making my Olympic dreams come true. I will never forget Vancouver 2010 and what inspiration came from each athlete, coach, and volunteer at the games.
You can watch a video montage created by CTV’s Stephen Brunt , here.