The 2010 Vancouver Olympics inspired an unexpected feeling…

The Olympics are over, and there is a quieter feeling in Vancouver.

The red hockey shirts, hats, mitts, scarves, weird hats, costumes, shoes, maple leaves, and flags have retired to closets. The spontaneous “woohoos!” have abated. And, I admit, I miss those crazy connections with strangers, and the upbeat energy.

Something emotional and spirited took place in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics, pleasantly catching a few of us off guard.

Post Gold Medal Men's Hockey Game!
Post Gold Medal Men's Hockey Game!

However, with the Paralympics are around the corner,  hopefully, some of that enthusiasm will  re-ignite along with the flame!

2010 Olympic Flame
2010 Olympic Flame

I had a secret pleasure in observing the freedom that occurred with many individuals, and noted that a lot of people allowed their “bouffon” to emerge and take life a wee less seriously. It was like the Olympics gave permission for people to express themselves, release, and play.

Downtown Vancouver during Olympics 2010
Downtown Vancouver during Olympics 2010

And, that’s what I did too. Play. I indulged in my “Canadian-ness” and got caught up in our patriotic rouge. I became the Hockey Fan I was supposed to have been when I first won my Tourism BC twitter prize. I yelled  “Louuu…” every time Roberto Luongo saved a goal, and jumped up & down screaming when Sidney Crosby saved the day. (what was happening to me?).

I had pictures taken with  Canadiana as if I were a tourist in my own town.

Lucky me with Canadian Mounties..
Lucky me with Canadian Mounties
Beaver Bouffons!
Beaver Bouffons!

And, an extra special pic with Gold Medalist Skeleton Jon Montgomery!

Me & Gold Medalist Jon Montgomery!
Me & Gold Medalist Jon Montgomery!

My heart beat hard watching Joannie Rochette skate her Golden Bronze performance, I leaped off the couch as we witnessed the unexpected Gold medal snowboarding by Jasey-Jay Anderson, and the close Golden win of the men’s speed skating minutes later.

(My own Olympic moment was when I was zipped across a wire over Robson Square downtown Vancouver!! Whew!)

Watching the athletes inspired me to “go for Gold” in my art. As all the athletes were striving for their best performances, my cast in “The Memory of Water” at the Deep Cove Shaw Theatre were also enjoying sinking deeper and deeper into their work, giving audiences memorable experiences.

Just before our opening, I told myself, as I was directing,  to “Go through the finish line, not up to it..” It feels good to know that’s exactly what we all did!

"The Memory of Water" First Impressions Theatre
"The Memory of Water" First Impressons Theatre

Did the Olympics affect you in a surprising way, and are you going to embrace the Paralympics? (Personally, I think they already deserve medals for just being an athlete who has had to overcome incredible obstacles before mastering their sport.)

Olympic Inukshuk
Olympic Inukshuk

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Vancouver Olympics Playtime…

When I first learned that the Olympics were coming to town, I was amongst those against the idea. I jumped on the “let’s get out of Dodge” attitude. As the Olympics drew closer the politics, the potential problems, and the ethical questioning also heightened.

I wasn’t terribly positive.

Then a strange thing occurred.

Innocently, I “retweeted” a tweet about an Olympic Hockey contest by Tourism B.C. and a couple of days later it was announced that I had won.

I won? What did I win???? I was baffled as I didn’t even know I had entered!!

I had mixed feelings as I thought someone more fanatical than me should have won the 3 hockey tickets, the limo, the hotel, the Hockey House day, and then…. I started to get excited, really excited!!

As I write this, I’m sitting in my hotel  waiting for my “limo” to pick me up to go to two Women’s hockey games while my guy is watches the Men’s Hockey game!

Yesterday, I was taken around Robson Square downtown Vancouver by Chris Wheeler, the Torch Reporter, and taken up on the Zipline…

And, last night I was standing at a perfect place on Robson St. with an energetic crowd as Canada’s Jon Montgomery won gold on the Mens Skeleton.

Just before taking the leap!

Needless to say, I admit that I have set aside my earlier apprehensions for some Olympic playtime. It really is fantastic to see everyone having so much fun, sharing energy, and a sense of Canadiana of which I’ve never witnessed.

I’m sure the Olympic hangover will be tough, and things are far from perfect. But, for now… I’m just going to continue to join in, play, and recharge my sense of fun.

Hope some of you are doing the same, or at least that the spirit has affected you wherever you are!

More later!

Witnessing Jon Montgomery's Gold Medal Skeleton!