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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Olympic Fever

What a day Friday was!
We started in the gym with the whole school, where we had a chance to see a REAL Olympic torch, courtesy of a parent who took part in the relay! Some of the teachers were more than happy to pose for photos with it.
We all walked to the torch relay route, where we vied for vantage spots with what seemed like billions of other excited school children, teachers, and community members.
We had to wait a very long time, due to major disruptions by protesters downtown. Still, there was a party atmosphere and everyone was completely pumped!
Soon, the mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, showed up.
At long last, just as raindrops began to gently spit, the long procession of party trucks, official vehicles, and police on various modes of transportation rolled by and the security gang appeared with a young torch bearer. He uncooperatively looked the other way as he passed by and then disappeared into another area for the changeover with the next runner. So this was my best view.
After a long, wet walk back to school, we had our Valentines cards, after which some 40 parents arrived for reading presentations in my classroom. I had to stand at the front and wing it.
Oh, what a busy day it was, and what a relief to drive away at the end.
In the evening, we all went to Tim and Lea's to watch the opening ceremonies. I really did cheer for those Aussies and their boxing kangaroo! And so many countries had just one athlete entered. The Indians had their uniforms, thanks to local help. The Georgian team came in very soberly, with black armbands after their teammate was killed on the luge track that morning. Such a horrible tragedy.... They got a standing ovation from the crowd. Lea, of course, cheered for Denmark. And the last team to enter was Canada. It was so exciting to see our athletes; the whole stadium was cheering and I think we all felt rather emotional. (Such a funny thing....) There were amazing performances by First Nations dancers, Sarah McLaughlin, KD Lang, Bryan Adams and Nellie Furtada, and others. And FYI, John Furlong of the IOC should stick to English in the future and not mess with French.
We were waiting to see who would light the Olympic cauldron and were not at all surprised that Wayne Gretsky (the Great One) had been chosen.
Lea and I posed with our flags. Lea is a very patriotic Dane, but is more than happy to cheer for Canada!
Such a day!
I'm wondering how these Olympic games will unfold, especially after the luge death and fingers being pointed at Canada. A couple of months ago, I was quite apprehensive about the whole thing and how our lives would be disrupted with traffic and crowds, not to mention the huge costs of hosting them. Now, I'm completely drawn into the excitement of having the world here. I might even go downtown again!
Wish you were here, Southern Ange!


Southern Ange said...

Oh I have been wishing and wishing that we could've been there too...what an exciting Friday you had! Buzzy! The Opening Ceremony was dazzling and tastefully Canadian. I loved it. One of my favourite parts (I had a number of fave moments!) was when the whales etc came in. Magnificent! And I would've loved to have been the girl who soared around the prairies...or the snowboarder who came in via the Olympic rings! Fun! I was really impressed also with the way the Georgian luger was respected throughout the ceremony. That 'something-ness' about it all seems so very 'Canadian' to me! Sorry - can't explain it further. But I do agree with you that John Furlong should have stuck to his Anglocised version...especially since he was being followed by Jacques Rogge with his perfect French! I could've listened to the French all night. Please do go downtown and bring more photos back! We have to enjoy it all virtually - through your eyes. xo

Crystal said...

What a lot of people to see the relay!! Wow - you were brave to take the kids. It really is exciting to have the world here, even if it's 1000+ kms away :)) I love your posts about downtown and seeing all the sights. Thanks for sharing - and keep reporting :)

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