Monday, March 1, 2010

I believe—Olympic reflections

What a day. So hard to unwind. I finally fell asleep around 2:00 am. When I woke up at 6:30 am, I was humming Nikki Yanofsky’s song—I believe in the power of you and I.

CTV’s Brian Williams and others have said it may times this week—this experience has changed us all. Well, I don’t know about everyone else, but it has changed me. I know that there are many that have ranted for the last six years about VANOC, how the Olympics would be disastrous, wasteful two week party etc. I have to admit that working with VANOC myself had it’s tense and frustrating moments. But for me, the power of the last 17 days transcends all of that.

I remember when VANOC copyrighted “with glowing hearts” and “we believe” and we all felt like vomiting—what nerve! Well, now, I really feel these things. Not only as a Canadian, but as a human being. I know that after this experience, every challenge that I face on a daily basis will be approached in a different way. I am not so naive, as to think that simply believing will make things happen, but I am convinced that having goals and believing in yourself and having the support of others is a very powerful motivator.

Every time I finish a run and my muscles hurt, and I feel like sitting on the couch for the rest of the day, I will be reminded of Jennifer Heil and Alexandre Bilodeau and all of the Olympians around the world who work hard every day to attain new goals — and I will get off my butt and be productive.

Every time I think of Lynn and Lyle, John and Joan, Wendy and Peter, Gwen and Deirdre and Don from our running group who, on top of their very busy schedules, helped welcome the world to Vancouver by being Olympic volunteers — I will be inspired to be more giving.

Every time I sit at my computer and the job at hand, seems overwhelming and I just want to give up — I will remember that I believe in my goals and I will soldier on.

At 53, this Canadian, watched her first hockey game. I guess I picked the right one to watch! Marc and I headed to LiveCity Yaletown to see the 11:00 am Jim Byrnes concert. We lined up with the multitudes for an hour to enter the site, and found choice spots very near the stage. The concert was amazing. As the concert ended the hockey game began. We were in a sea of red and white. Neither of us thought we could sit through three hours of hockey—even if it was for gold—but we got swept away. I was yelling and cheering with arms in the air as if this was something I do regularly. Who knows, I may turn into a Canucks fan.

We poured out of LiveCity Yaletown, once Gold had been secured, took the Canada line to Waterfront Station to view the Olympic Caldron and with thousands of happy Canadian flag clad fans walked down Robson Street to find a restaurant or bar to watch the Closing Ceremonies and let off steam. Afterwards, as we were walking back to the Canada Line, we both commented that this was the way to end the games—on such a high note. This is what people will remember.

At home several hours later, we watched the Closing Ceremonies again without the din of the Irish pub, or the honking horns of the fans on Robson Street. What a day.

So, with a glowing heart I bid farewell to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and I say with pride — I believe!

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