Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Olympic Torch

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!

  1. That last one may have been me when I saw five people with hats shaped like maple leaves today []
  2. 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 []
  3. even more than my usual “I wish she were here!” []

4 Responses to Olympic Torch

  1. JohnB says:

    Curmudgeon here. The Olympic torch went into the US and was carried in Canada by Ah-nold!?!? C'm'on. The Olympics are an over-hyped, overly-expensive extravaganza for, at best, two to three thousand elite athletes and their hangers on. The 1976 Montreal Olympics weren't paid off until 2006. How long do you think it's going to take to pay off the Vancouver Olympics?

    The money being wasted on bread and circuses would be much more admirably invested in things like additional Insite clinics, First Nations education, and health care education getting Canadians off their increasingly obese backsides. Instead, the very people who need to be prodded to get moving are, instead, being given every incentive to sit glued to the tube, inert, while chowing down on chips-and-dip-and-beer.

    And this Wayne Gretzky person that everyone is excited about. Where does he live? Where does he pay his taxes? Where does he work?

    • Beth says:

      You know, I’ve heard all the criticisms about the Olympics (a lot of which are totally fair). And I work in health care, so I know exactly how bad the health care cuts have been (and will most likely continue to be). But I have my doubts that the money spent on the Olympics would have been spent on health care if it we didn’t have the Olympics. I feel like they would have blown it on something else.

  2. Isn't it great?! I've never seen the city like this before. It's so much fun. I wonder if there's any chance that some of the current amazing energy and spirit will carry over after the games…

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