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Olympic Travel Tales: Proud Canadian

February 15, 2010

With excitement and dread I joined thousands of Vancouverites for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Games. I was a bit surprised to find my east van pub of choice packed and there was no UFC fight in sight. Yup. We were all there to watch the Opening Ceremonies. What if it’s bad? Or cutesy? The world is watching – please don’t be embarrassing!
When the snowboarder burst through the rings I started to relax and the crowd went wild!
It was a bizarre experience. This ceremony, this spectacle was a lot like a dance or theatre piece and yet people were not only watching it, they were moved by it. I confess to some tears, what is more shocking is my companion was also moved to tears.
From the ice breaking up, Cathedral Grove, the wide open Prairie and those crazy punk fiddlers I was enraptured.
Yes there were a few hiccups. Security and protestors delayed some dignitaries; hydraulic lifts that didn’t work robbed us  of the full effect of the cauldron but, easily overlooked.

We were reminded of how many outstanding Canadians there are.  From Astronauts and Peace Keepers to Athletes and Actors.  We have a lot to be proud of. And maybe that’s the future.  Maybe we need to let our light shine a little brighter instead of pulling our humble cloaks on.

I was so moved by our Poet Shane Koyczan.  How many schoolchildren have been asked to write the essay ‘What is a Canadian?’ and drawn a blank past maple syrup and multiculturalism.  I am moved, I am inspired, and I am proud to be Canadian.

I’ve kept my post short so you’ll have time to follow this link to Shane’s Poem. I hope it moves you or, if you’re not Canadian, I hope it helps you understand us a little better.

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