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18 Feb 2010 – Olympic Victory Ceremony

February 19, 2010
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Today I got a nice surprise when I got to work. I got a call from HR saying I had been awarded a staff appreciation award which meant I was to receive tickets to this evening’s Olympic Victory Ceremony. After a few calls were made and cover found, I headed down off my sunny mountain and towards BC Place Stadium, happy that I was getting to experience one of the Olympic events after missing being downtown during the opening ceremony (had been working and playing too hard and was asleep!). The ceremony was held in the same indoor stadium as the opening ceremony and had the Olympic flag flying, kept waving by air pumped out of the pole towards the flag. My seat had a good view of both the podium and the area where the medalist’s respective country flags were raised during the playing of the winner’s national anthem. The flags were brought in by a team of Mounties as the athletes were introduced with small clips of their achievements shown on the big screens. We arrived as Shaun White was jumping up on the podium, who at 23 is already well known world-wide, defending Olympic Champion and now renowned for inventing, executing and landing the Double McTwist 1,260 in the Men’s Half-Pipe Final.

Most people were not here to see him though. They were wearing their red maple leafs with pride as the winner of Canada’s third gold medal on home soil would be receiving her medal. The crowd was so loud when Christine Nesbitt took to the podium that there was no hearing the announcer. I am quite sure she was quite overwhelmed with it all and was sure I saw her mouth “it’s crazy” to one of her fellow medallists as they stood bearing the flashes of all the media photographers. It was fun to be a part of it, though some self-pinching had to be done to believe I was there.

Afterwards, my Canadian friend and I walked through the streets to find somewhere to eat and battled through crowds of happy Canadians who were buoyant after a close hockey (need I really say ice-hockey, they don’t here) match with Switzerland that had been decided in a tense shootout. We were also treated to a hearty rendition of the Canadian national anthem by some enthusiastic (read alcohol-fueled) revellers. A hockey win in Canada is equivalent to a football match win in England. Hockey is the only game to play here! Talking of which, I hope to try my hand at the real hockey deal here soon.

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