With Canada winning gold in the Men’s Hockey Final (a game which aired at 4am PST and one that Andrew and I got up at 3:30am to watch with friends!) Andrew and I felt like we glimpsed a part of the Vancouver Olympic spirit that took over this city in 2010.
Every gold medal Canada won the city of Vancouver decided to light its Olympic cauldron once again. Having never seen the cauldron lit, Andrew and I headed downtown yesterday to witness it in all its glory and it didn’t disappoint.
Although we didn’t live in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Games (we were just a ferry ride away in Victoria at the time) we regret not coming over just to experience the excitement. I wish I could say our decision not to come was because we couldn’t get the time off work or because we hated the idea of a global event like this, but the sad truth is our decision to stay away was because we let some of our Victoria colleagues and peers dissuade us from going. Some of them warned it would be chaos and a pain to get around. Some thought the Olympics were a waste of money and a way to hide the host country’s past human rights injustices. Some told us it would be too expensive of a trip.
Andrew and I wish we would have had the courage back then to tune them out and do what we wanted to do. The Olympics aren’t for everyone and enjoying in some nationalistic pride I am sure is nauseating to some. But, we love it. We grew up all over the world and after living in several different countries and making friends who come from all nationalities and backgrounds, let me tell you, the Olympics are pretty awesome. Humans may be all the same, but that doesn’t mean everyone in the world sees it that way. It’s not hard to point out all the conflicts in the world that are based on discrimination and fear. And for that reason there are very few things that bring everyone together, even if its just for a little while. But the Olympics are one of them.
But of course, everyone still wants you to pick a side (in a friendly sportsmanship kind of way) and because I’m American, everyone in Vancouver asked me the same question when Canada was up against the States: “Who are you cheering for?” I didn’t have a good answer until right now. So in 2 more years when someone asks me that same question I will say, “Canada. Because home is where the heart is and my heart is here in Vancouver right now.”
But just to be clear when Canada and America aren’t playing against each other I cheer for both!!!