Memories of the 2010 Olympics…a change in Canadian pride

2010 Olympic Torch at night

With the London 2012 Olympic Games about to start, we can’t help reflecting on our experiences at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.  We are Olympic junkies and always find ourselves tuned into the games whether it is the summer or winter games.  The excitement, triumphs and disappointments of the athletes and the worldwide celebration of sport draw us in every two years.

It was our love of the Olympic Games that started a passion to go to an Olympic Games at some point in our lives.  We wanted to see first-hand the competitions and the celebrations that went along with the two week ultimate sporting event.  However, we hoped to tie in the Olympic Games with a destination that we also wanted to spend some time in and explore. 

Then, in 2002 we heard that our hometown, Vancouver, Canada had put in a bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.  How cool would that be to go to an Olympic Games in our hometown!  We thought not only would we be able to see many events, but we would be a part of welcoming the world to our fantastic and amazing city.

It was with baited breath that we woke up early on July 2, 2003 to listen to IOC President, Jacques Rogge, announce the winner of the 2010 Olympic bids.  I remember vividly listening to his speech and it coming the part where he said, “…the 21st Olympic Winter Games in 2010 are awarded to the City of…… Vancouver”.  We were ecstatic as our dreams were coming true in a far better way than we could possibly have imagined.  This was our chance to be a part of the Olympics and better yet, to host, and cheer on our Canadian athletes on home soil.

So, as the planning committee started getting things ready for the day Vancouver would host the world, we waited anxiously for the opportunity to buy our tickets to several events.  Then, we found out that the tickets were going to be so popular that they were doing a lottery style system.  Disappointment and fear were high for us as we submitted our ticket request.  What if we didn’t win the lottery to purchase tickets?  We could miss out on being a part of this dream when we are so close to it.

Months later, we got the email confirmation…we had won the lottery and were able to buy our tickets to the women’s moguls competition, short track speed skating, men’s curling, men’s hockey and a medal ceremony.  Words cannot describe how excited and lucky we felt at this moment.  We never win anything!

When the Olympics started, the city was engulfed in the Olympic spirit; however, there was an underlying current that was beginning.  Going to our first event, the women’s moguls’ competition, we cheered on our Canadians as loudly as possible in the pouring rain on top of Cypress Mountain.  Canadian flags were everywhere as we all waited to see if history would be made.  No Canadian athlete had won gold on Canadian soil at an Olympic games ever!  Would Jennifer Heil be the first, as a favourite in the completion?  Unfortunately, she did not win gold but the silver medal, but she was our first medal of the completion.  Swept up in the emotion of it all, it was a great moment to be Canadian.

Throughout the weeks, the downtown core became a place to celebrate, see the sights and non-sporting events in the city.  Streets were closed to vehicle traffic and people watched on the streets as Canadians won medal after medal.  We all celebrated the great accomplishments of other countries because that is what Canadians do.  The streets were friendly as complete strangers high-fived and hugged to celebrate athletes’ achievements and groups of Canadians on the street broke out into our National Anthem as national pride burst out of everyone’s hearts. 

2010 Olympics Mascots

These Olympic Games awakened a pride in our country that had never been seen before.  The sea of red in the stands and on the streets was unmistakable.  The chants and cheers of “Go Canada Go” engulfed the city.  The Hudson’s Bay Company could not keep the Canadian Olympic gear in stock and was dealing with line ups of 1-2 hours outside their downtown store.  It seemed every Canadian wanted a part of these Olympic Games like no other.

2010 Olympics - women's short track speed skating

It is for these reasons that we believe that everyone should attend at least one Olympic game in their lifetime.  To see the world come together without prejudice and simply unite through sport is a life changing experience.  The 2010 Winter Olympic Games didn’t just showcase Vancouver for the great city that it is, it ignited a spirit in the Canadians that we are strong, we are proud of our country and we can kick a little butt at the Olympic Games and not apologize for it.

We look forward to watching every minute of the London 2012 games and will be wishing we were there.  We will be cheering on our Canadian athletes and all athletes as they strive for personal bests.  It is our one great hope that Londoners and those in the United Kingdom will feel the same Olympic spirit that we were so lucky to experience in Vancouver.  We may not be at this one, but who knows; maybe we will make it to Sochi 2014!

For more information on Vancouver, check out our Travel Guide here.

What are you most looking forward to from the London 2012 Olympics?  How do you express your pride for your country?

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Some posts on our site, Travels4Couples, do allow us to make money. However, we do not sacrifice our integrity and only post those articles that match our brand and we feel would interest our readers.

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