Well, the Olympics are in full swing, and this wonderful city of Vancouver is absolutely electric. I’ve never seen so many people from so many parts of the world having so much fun! And I’m proud of all of us locals (with or without blue jackets) who are ready with a smile and a helping hand.
Like so many of us, my excitement and emotion began at the Opening Ceremonies at a local watering hole with some good friends and dozens of other happy and boisterous fans. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience like this, I wanted to be with people who were as pumped as I was.
The Opening Ceremonies didn’t disappoint anyone who anticipated artistic excellence to rival the spectacles we’ve seen in past Games. For me, though, it was some surprise appearances and awesome performances that have stuck in my mind.
- 16-year old sensation Nikki Yanofsky singing a very different, but riveting O Canada. This girl is destined for stardom!
- Our gracious and utterly human Governor-General Michaelle Jean opening the Games. I am an unabashed fan of this woman.
- The Celtic dancers and fiddlers in a visually stunning routine. Ashley MacIsaac rocks!
- k.d. laing’s moving rendition of Hallelujah – one of my all-time favorite songs by iconic Canadian Leonard Cohen. Quite simply, I bawled.
- The Olympic flag carried in by people I revere and admire for so many reasons. It was a joy to see Betty Fox, Bobby Orr, Julie Payette, Donald Sutherland, Anne Murray, Jacques Villeneuve and Barbara Ann Scott – but I was particularly overjoyed to see former General Romeo Dallaire, whom I consider a true Canadian hero.
- And of course, the torch lighting was perfect, but what made me happiest was seeing Nancy Greene and Rick Hansen.
I was hoarse and exhausted on the bus ride home. But I was in great company. Most of the people on the bus were either coming from the actual event, or had seen it somewhere on TV.
The driver asked over the intercom “So, how was it, guys?’
And we all yelled, “It was AWESOME!!” And two days in, everything is still awesome.
We have gold, silver and bronze medals – and a ton of memories. And we have two more weeks to go:-)
Way to go, Canada. You’re making us all proud.