Honestly, this city is transformed. There’s an electricity in the air. People are smiling and laughing and *talking to strangers*! Vancouver is not generally a city where people talk to strangers. Vancouver is a fairly social place, but people tend to socialize with those people they know and not so much with the talking to people they don’t know. But in the past few days, I’ve noticed a lot of total strangers around the city talking to each other. “Are you going to any events?” “Where are you from?” and “OMG, where did you get that hat!! It’s SO AWESOME!!”1. We’ve heard a lot about people who are anti-Olympics in the time leading up to these Olympics2 and not much in the way of support. But now that the Opening Ceremonies are just a day away, the supporters are coming out in droves.
This was Cambie Street today at about 2 p.m.:
And this is about 40 minutes BEFORE the flame is scheduled to arrive. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much red and so many maple leaves in such a small area as I did today!
And here’s the big moment!
I made this video clip for my niece – seeing all the kids so excited about the torch going by made me really wish she were here3.
For the record, here’s a video of the Olympic flame for Vancouver 2010 being lit in Greece back on October 22, 2009:
Pretty amazing to think of the amount of time this flame has been burning and all the distance that it’s covered!
- That last one may have been me when I saw five people with hats shaped like maple leaves today [↩]
- and I’m not discounting them. There are a lot of good reasons to be ticked off – e.g., cost overruns,people being told they have to take signs down from their own windows [↩]
- even more than my usual “I wish she were here!” [↩]