In February 2010 Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics. Canadians are still basking with pride following the huge success of the games. Canadians in the past have had a reputation of being modest and self effacing. While it is to be hoped that these qualities are not removed from the Canadian psyche it is clear that the Winter Olympics brought a significant change to the way Canadians view themselves in the world. Our athletes performed magnificently, finishing third in the overall medals table and first in the number of gold medals won. A new spirit of patriotism was born in the land, demonstrated by unashamed displays of love for our country and spontaneous singing of the national anthem, “O Canada.” When Dr. Jacques Rogge, the Belgian chairman of the International Olympic Committee announced at the end of the games that he believed the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics were the best ever, his compliment was received with gratitude. John Furlong, the CEO of the Vancouver Olympics Organizing Committee, arrived in Canada as an immigrant from Ireland in 1974. He was a schoolteacher by profession. After his paperwork was processed, the immigration officer said to him, “Welcome to Canada – make us better.” He clearly took those words seriously.
Some Grangers have made their home for more than thirty years now in this SW corner of British Columbia. In addition to Grace and myself, there are Janet (Naj) Hitchcock and Ann and Chris King and their family. We all live within a one hour drive of Vancouver. Further, Frances West lived in Vancouver for twenty four years before she moved to Kitchener, Ontario in August 2008. We should like to share some pictures with you in connection with the Winter Olympics.
First Nations Sculpture at Vancouver International Airport.
Canadian Flag on a high rise building in downtown Vancouver.
Canadians proclaim their support for our team of athletes.
Images of the three official mascots of the Games, Miga, Quatchi and Sumi are seen on the side of high rise building in Vancouver.
The “Zipline,” a high wire, 30 second adrenaline pumping ride was located in Vancouver. It was a free ride which proved to be so popular that people waited in line for six or more hours to have the experience. I wanted to go on it but, six hours wait – I did not want it that much, just for 30 seconds!
Downtown Skating Rink. This was constructed and installed in the middle of one of the pedestrian area streets in Vancouver. There was no admission charge to skate there but there was a small rental charge if one needed to rent a pair of skates.
People enjoy the ice rink.
The British Columbia Pavilion.The Games were also a mini Expo with different countries having pavilions located in various parts of the city.
The Olympic Cauldron. The Olympic flame was ignited, as it always is, at Mount Olympus in Greece and was brought to Canada. It was then carried by a succession of thousands of torch bearers across the country from Newfoundland to Vancouver, BC. The cauldron was lit as part of the opening ceremonies and remained alight until the end of the Games. It was re-lit for the subsequent Paralympics.
Martin, Grace and Naj by the Cauldron.
Grace and Naj with the Cauldron in the background.
Whistler Village. Whistler is now considered to be one of the premier ski resorts in the world. It was here that the Alpine, ski-jumping, bobsled, luge and skeleton events were held. Whistler Village is a warm, intimate place.
The Olympic flame arrives in Vancouver against the backdrop of Burrard Inlet and the Lions Gate Bridge. The torchbearer in the picture is Canadian basketball player, Steve Nash.
The Canadian Team of winter athletes march into the stadium during the Opening Ceremony.
A snowboarder makes a spectacular arrival, jumping through one of the rings during the Opening Ceremony.
An enthusiastic Canadian fan and performer during the Opening Ceremony.
Lighted Cauldron at the Opening Ceremony.
Exuberant fans, Canadians along with others pack Granville Street in tight fellowship!
Another view of Granville Street, fan excitement.