Sunday, March 14, 2010

Never Prouder

I was a proud supporter of the Olympics in Vancouver.  I was proud of the great spirit with which Vancouverites welcomed the world. Road closures, long lineups for morning coffee at Starbucks and giving out directions to visitors were par for the course for many in or around downtown.  We were excellent hosts (I think).

Beyond that, the Canadian patriotism surged in ways I haven't seen since the cold war era Canada-Russia hockey in 1972 when Canada won with seconds to go.  Nearly everyone was wearing team Canada colours, red and white hair and I think the flag industry alone will be solvent for a couple decades  based on the Vancouver sales.

I didn't think I could be prouder.  But I am now.

I am even prouder with the way Vancouverites was welcoming the Paralympic games.  Some 60,000 people went to the opening ceremonies.  The masses complained loudly that the ceremonies were not to be televised live and the network changed its mind and broadcast it live in B.C.

People are flocking downtown again to soak up the action. Families and the twenty somethings and seniors are coming to check out the action. At least half of these people are NOT coming down in search of the beer tends.   People are generally interested in the events, the athletes and their courageous stories.

We went to a sledge hockey game today. This is hockey for folks without use of their legs.  They are strapped onto a tiny sled with one blade.   The upper body strength needed is massive, a truly incredible athletic display:
I knew the game had been sold our for weeks. However, I was dumbfounded by the energy and excitement in the arena.  Flags and Canada wear and face paint and much Canadian pride again oozed. 

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