Monday, March 1, 2010

Canada Rocks! My story of the 2010 Winter Olympics, from Calgary to Vancouver and back again

The 2010 Winter Olympics ended last night and the past 2 weeks will be with me the rest of my life. I will continue to tell my stories about the Olympics to anyone who'll listen, to Sydnerella, and when she's well into her 30's and has children, I'll tell them too....

Way back in June, maybe July 2009, I came home from work to greet T-Bone at the computer who was sporting a crazy smile, staring at me, waiting for me to ask him what he was looking at me like that for. His smile got crazier and bigger, so I had to bite ...  ME: "What's wrong with you? Ooohhh wait a minute ... Did you just win $1million on PokerStars?" He shakes his head, teeth still showing, smile still huge, eyes wide. I don't like playing the guessing game and I was weeks from moving out of my rental, probably tired and unhappy with all the work that had to be done. So I wasn't being a very good sport. Then he bursts ... "We're going to the Olympics!" A bigger weirder smile, waiting for me to jump up & down with glee. ME: "Umm, what Olympics?" His smile starts to fade, he's looking at me like I'm sniffing glue or licking the walls. He tries to get me pumped with his story. He had got a phone call that day from one of his brothers. His brothers girlfriend was asked at work if she was interested in buying 8 tickets to the February 19, 2010 4:30pm Men's Hockey game. She made one phone call and they scooped up all 8 tickets. $250 each. ME: "Ummm, I just bought a house, not too sure if I care to spend $250 on a hockey game that isn't Canada, or at least the USA". T-Bone: "Well since I just about killed your cat and you spent $1000 making sure I wasn't successful, I bought your ticket." ME: "Sweeet". Then I smiled the same crazy smile T-Bone had on and showed some exuberance. I don't care too much for Vancouverites (or whatever the hell they call themselves) and I've never really been into the Olympics, but I've heard Vancouver's a beautiful city. It pretty much went something like that anyway. So as the months went by we slowly started making plans to drive out to Vancouver to catch some Olympic celebrations. By mid-January, we had all our group together, a 2-story condo rented right beside GM Place (or Canada Hockey Place as they now call it), transportation worked out, and we were going to the Olympics. Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 9pm, our happy little group of Calgarians piled into a mini-van and a lil honda civic and we hit the road. We were stoked. At around noon on February 18, we pulled up to our condo in Vancouver. And after a 2 hour nap, our Olympic celebrations began. It was a fabulous 4 days, 3 nights. We met people from all over the world, and because of Vancouvers lack of toilets, we had lots of them using ours. We met fellow Flames-fans, high-energy Latvians, drunken Germans, excited Russians, arrogant Fins, Montreal po-po, a wonkey-eyed woman in a wheel chair with a cat, friendly Americans who seemed surprised that we cheered and high fived them walking down the streets, a 1952 Canadian Gold Medal winner, rotten spirited Vancouverites, and even Optimus Prime. We saw all things that make Canada great ... From far and wide, Oh Canada (you didn't think I'd go through this blog without a little patriotic cheese did you .....). Our Olympic celebrations went on til the wee hours of the mornings. Then at noon Sunday, February 21, we piled back into the mini-van and the lil honda civic and headed for home. After a disappointing loss to the US that we witnessed in Kamloops that night, we arrived home at 4:30am and slept for 3 days. In between work and Olympic events on TV. And what an exciting week it was. (Click here for the final medal count). Sunday, February 28, 2010 the same group of people plus some put on our Canada jerseys and gathered yet again to cheer on our country in the gold medal men's hockey game. My palms were sweaty and my heart was beating. We were on our feet the last minute of the game ... Canada 2 - US 1. At 30 seconds to the end of the 3rd, we sat down in shock, mouths dropped open, not a word was spoken. The US had tied the game. Aside from those I thought were weeping, the room was silent. But contrary to the uneasy feeling in the pit of my gut, and in true Canadian-style, a few minutes into over-time, Canada scored. Big time. And not just in that game over all .... Canada won more Gold Medals than any other country in the history of the Olympics. And they will never been the same for me. I wasn't even 10 years old when Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics. I have a vague memory of being at Olympic Plaza and if I looked hard enough, I could probably find my little torch and '88 Olympic magazine somewhere in my boxes of memories, but the importance and the greatness of the Olympics didn't stick back then. The experiences I've had these past two weeks though were insurmountable. The 2010 Winter Olympics were outstanding. And we were there!

1 comment:

  1. Montreal po-po?? I guess no poutine for you!! heehee!!