The city of Vancouver has been invaded! People from all over Canada and the world have descended upon the city to see the Olympics and be a part of the excitement. I haven't been all that tuned in to the excitement. I'm not that much of a sports fan (other than occasional basketball games or figure skating) and I have an aversion to the NHL from a long ago over exposure from three older brothers and a hockey coach father.
However, last Friday night I decided that we should at least watch the opening ceremonies for a while to see what they had put together. My attention was captured right away. I sat mesmerized by the spectacular special effects and sense of pride in who we are and what we are all about. The inclusion of the First Nations as hosts and their dancing held me spellbound and as the athletes marched in I cheered along with the crowd as Team Canada appeared.
For once, it wasn't about the politicians or the flashy celebrities and their glitz. It was about us, everyday Canadians, that live and work and participate in our communities. It wasn't about impressing anyone, it was about sharing our story with the world - and we did it with pride.
Not once did I hear any of the same old hooey about our identity crisis. No, Canadians know exactly who we are and we are not ashamed to be ourselves - nice, polite, welcoming, diverse, complicated, multi focussed, bilingual... and proud to be Canadian.
Since Friday I've been tuning into the various sports events and right now, as I write this, I'm actually watching women's hockey. You know, the women are great hockey players and I'm really enjoying the lack of brutality that often accompanies men's professional hockey. For once its about the sport and skating and skill with the stick and puck. I can get into that.
Me watching hockey? Oh, that's too funny!
Tonight, more figure skating... tomorrow... skiing...
Wednesday we're planning a trip downtown into the chaos! Robson square, skating, Vancouver Art Museum. I'm looking forward to it.
Enjoy the Olympic Games everyone!