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like an aberdeen street party.

February 15, 2010

vancouver 2010.

the vibe in this city is unreal.

okay. i’ll preface this by saying that i am extremely aware that there is a lot of controversy surrounding the olympics – and the vancouver ones in particular. there has been a lot of convergence – the march for missing women on sunday (and originally they being told that they wouldn’t be able to march through olympic areas). there is the dispute over native land. there is the fact that many people believe that the olympics are just feeding the rich, and that they are a corporate money glut, that harper has cut the arts but then arts were prominently displayed in the opening ceremonies. it’s all there. i have friends who participated in peaceful protests. i have friends who have flown across the country to be here to celebrate the olympics. i have friends who call them the “screwlypmics” the “shitlympics” etc etc.

everyone is allowed their own opinions, and personally, i’m really sick of hearing people’s negativity about this. it’s like religion. you believe what you want and i will believe what i want. i’m not tuning it out because i am very aware, but like it or not, they are here, in the city, and yes, the city might be paying for it for years, and yes, the tourists are gumming up your bus routes.

but the moment when i was in the bar, watching bilodeau win the gold, and his brother frederic sobbing on the sidelines – the sang froid kind of melted away. even the stately valentines day cactus club erupted in a cheer. i had tears in my eyes. granted, i’m a bit of a schmaltzy person and i cry at a lot of things, but there is something so inherently canadian about these games – from rick hansen, to the outrageously queer ashley macisaac performing at the opening ceremonies, to the laid back approach to downhill which resulted in a medal disappointment, to the glee to getting bronze in speed skating, to the broken torch in the openings, to the people on robson street saying “oh, sorry!” when they bump into you.

it’s an unreal vibe here right now. like an aberdeen street party at queen’s university homecoming, but without the rampant drinking and without the broken glass underfoot. this place is a mess of strollers and red and white, and canadian flags. and even the icy vancouverites melted and hung their flags from their windows, and it makes me so proud to see those flags flying.

it’s a once in a lifetime thing, this. i can’t see myself chasing the olympics around the world, although the russian 2014 games sounds tempting (as anything eastern european does to me).

the adventure continues.


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