2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver
The Winter Olympics is hosted by the City of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver is a neighbouring city to Pender Island. There is ferry service from Pender to Vancouver.
Friday February 12th was the opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games. Excitement was building in the morning while watching the torch relay throughout the city. It was particularly touching to see Terry Fox's father run his stretch towards Stanley Park, a journey his son once took to bring awareness to cancer. Later that day we had a wind storm that took our power out at about 2 pm and luckily our power returned by about 6 pm just in time to watch the opening ceremonies.
As I watched the athletes enter the stadium I noticed our broadcast showed the population of each country and how many athletes were attending from that country. It was surprised to see small numbers from some countries ranging from 1-6 athletes. I thought of how great it was that they could represent their country but also about the pressure they must feel being their sole representative. When Canada entered the stadium it was amazing to see the crowd's response. I could not help but feel the pride of our athletes at that time.
The show began with introduction of first nations from across Canada. The energy was fantastic and the costumes were colourful and impressive. I loved to see that giant drum in the centre. It spoke Canada. Next we saw Nelly Furtado and Bryan Adams singing a tribute song and a fantastic projection/light show showing the history of Canada. I was particularly mesmerized by the image of whales crossing the stadium floor. I am sure it was quite magical to witness in person. I won't go through all the details of the show which concluded with Gretzky lighting the outdoor cauldron. I am sure there is a lot of information on line about the opening ceremony.
On Pender we have a special energy around the Olympics. The school here starting fundraising a couple years ago preparing for a school field trip where every student would have the opportunity to see an Olympic event. Over several days groups of students will travel together to see one Olympic event. Parents will assist in chaperoning. My daughter's class is attending men's hockey. Others are attending women's hockey, curling, snowboarding etc. The events were carefully chosen so that students could return the same day. Those attending curling had the privilege of a hands on lesson in curling prior to attending the event. I would think we are the only school in BC that planned for the entire school to attend the Olympics. The fundraising also included additional funds for a large screen TV for the school to watch the events. The last couple years preparing for the event has given a special sense of school spirit, a focus on sport, determination and accomplishment. This is one of the small benefits of living in a small community.
We will continue to cheer on our athletes over the next couple weeks celebrating with them and acknowledging their strength and dedication to achieve their goals and represent our country.