2010 Vancouver Olympic Games: An Unforgettable Journey Comes to an End

Wow! Was it all a dream? As of yesterday, the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games officially came to an end. For the past 2 weeks, Vancouver has been host to the world’s biggest party and left its guests with a show to remember.

Photo: Matt Solcum

Our Games have seen everything from gold medals and world records to stories of inspiration and passion. Our city was home to numerous social activities and events for the public to experience and enjoy. Vancouver answered the call by hosting an international event while leaving its fans, viewers and guests with a show to remember.

But despite all the success, the Games came with its share of scrutiny.  Just before the opening ceremonies began, news of the death of Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili emerged; immediately making headlines and threatening to cast a shadow on the evening’s opening ceremonies.

The opening ceremony also had its own hurdles with a “technology glitch” and protesters crowding the streets outside.  The weather wouldn’t cooperate and everyone wondered if Canada would even win a single gold medal after a slow start.  The questions continued to mount and so did the pressure.

In the end, Canada proved all the naysayers wrong.

All of the events went off smoothly and in my opinion, Canada hosted one of the most spectacular Winter Olympics in recent memory. Not only did the Canadians set a record for the most gold medal victories in the history of the Winter Olympics (14) but it did so in true Canadian fashion: With honour and integrity.

More Than Just a Game

It began with the humble gold victory of Canadian mogul skier, Alex Bilodeau.  Alex completed a final run to eclipse Dale Smith from Australia and to receive the country’s first gold medal ever won on Canadian soil.

It wasn’t just the victory and his ‘perfect run’, but rather his inspiration to compete: his older brother Frederic who suffers from cerebral palsy. The world watched as an emotional Alex sang the national anthem and honoured his brother for his victory.

Alex and Frederic BilodeauPhoto: Getty Images

Or take Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette.   Joannie battled her way to a bronze medal after her mother died from a sudden heart attack less than 48 hours prior to her performance.

Joannie said “I want to live my Olympic experience to the fullest and to represent Canada proudly.  That is what my mom would have wanted”

It is stories like this made this year’s Olympic Games special.

A Party to Remember

Robson Street

Perhaps just as big as the Game’s itself was the atmosphere in the city.  Vancouver hosted numerous social events and activities which received critical acclaim (and long line-ups) from all over town.

Various countries hosted their own Olympic houses which saw each country set up facilities to showcase their cultures for the world to see.  Livecity Vancouver held countless free performances with big-name artists from all over the world.

After every Canada Men’s Hockey victory, Robson and Granville Street turned into its own version of Mardi Gras, with the fans piling into the streets to celebrate.  And probably the biggest parade in Canadian history came this past Sunday when Canada clinched gold on its soil and sent the USA packing home!

The electricity in the city and the passion of the fans that afternoon will never be forgotten.  And let’s not forget the question will you’ll be answering for the rest of your life:

“Where were you when the Canada Men’s Hockey team won gold in 2010?”

These were just some of the moments that made this year’s Game’s one to remember and one for all Canadians to be proud of.

For more reflections on the games, check out articles on The Tyee, Beyond Robson, and the final tally from Miss 604.

Tell me what you think of this year’s Games. Was it a success or a disappointment?