Sunday, February 13, 2011

Remembering The Vancouver Olympics

A year ago today was the first day of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. I was downtown for the opening ceremonies and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. There was a vibe in the streets unlike anything I had ever experienced, a flood of Team Canada jerseys, not to mention riot police. I made the decision to emigrate from Ontario when Vancouver was awarded the Olympic Games because I wanted to be here for the build up, the event, and the aftermath. It was the best decision of my life.

It became apparent very quickly that we were not going to win the overall medal count, but after the first week we had a shot at taking home the most gold. Canadian athletes left Vancouver with more gold than those from any other country. Once upon a time they used to determine the winner of Olympics by who finished in first place the most. As the wise philosopher Ricky Bobby once said "if you ain't first, you're last!"

So a year later, what is the legacy? Well venues like the Olympic curling facility have been renovated into community centers with hundreds of patrons passing through their doors daily (and the renovation isn't even finished). The Olympic spirit remains, even if the games are in the past. It united the community and built an athletic infrastructure that will produce future Olympians for a generation to come. I am thankful to have been a part of it. Well done Canada! It was certainly worth proroguing parliament to host such a prestigious international event.

3 comments:

  1. Don't forget the wonderful Olympic Village,which is now housing all the "poor" people of Vancouver. Bob Rennie is the new Messiah!
    Oh,and don't ignore the sleight of hand by government and VANOC bookkeepers who now claim the games were revenue neutral.

    I can only surmise they left out all the highway construction costs to come up with that fantasy.

    Sporting contests are great feel- good moments,but distract from more serious matters. I cheered too for all the Canadian athletes,and will continue to do so WHEREVER they compete.

    Politicians love to present us with circuses to cover up their incompetence and malfeasance and I have to admit an Olympics is better than a war,with only one casualty this Olympics.In the meantime,what has the government done to inspire business to rebuild our economy,apart from impose a carbon tax?

    Now,Toronto HAS to vie for the Olympic games,the Eastern Center of the Universe simply CANNOT be outdone by a Western city, so look for whoever the latest incompetent in Ontario's Premier's office,to deflect public attention with another "feel good rah-rah let's all work together on this" campaign, while the Provincial economy stays stuck in the mire.

    In ancient Rome,when decadence had set in,the rulers distracted the populace with "The Games",and kept the masses' attention while the State decayed from the inside. I find it somewhat disappointing that politicians today can still "fiddle while Rome burns" and get away with it.

    Maybe Scott Brison wasn't too far off the mark with his "beer and popcorn" remark.

    DMorris

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  2. Sorry,Reid,not Brisson.DMorris

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  3. I began as a very enthusiatic volunteer, but am now jadded. As a victim of street closures from January through March, I feel the party was really for international elites. Yes, Vancouverites had fun under very prescribed and restricted conditions, thanks to our athletes. I think it did bring Canadians closer for the time.

    Many businesses in the city did not benefit at all because people were contained like cattle. I do not see a really lasting legacy, as we are still going to be paying millions for these legacy venues.

    Rennie is not selling the high end Village real estate, as none are really all that high end. I went to initial openings and those places might sell for half. Waiting does not change the fact that no one will pay 3.2 million for a now-blocked view of the North Shore mountains ans stark design. I would have liked a place there, but all the green and hype bumped up the price suitable only for money-launderers. This is no place for families - the green space is minimal. It is a totally inappropriate place for social housing with the supposedly high land price. Totally mismanaged by a series of municipal councils, all out-of-touch with reality ...

    Advice to Quebec City: forget it.

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