I did not welcome the Olympic Games in the beginning. I worried about the tourist flooding the city and curse the Olympics cuts my ski season shorts. I never watch much Olympic Games, not even the 2008 Beijing Olympic. Before February 16, it seems Olympics is none of my business.
It turns out the Olympic Games is a huge success and somehow I caught the Olympic fever. I was glued to TV every night watching events highlights, cheering for Canadian (and Chinese) athletes. All those winter sports seems so boring in the past to watch suddenly becomes interesting. When a Canadian is fighting for a place in the podium, tense atmosphere got me and I shared the excitement. I watched Olympics with colleagues in the cafeteria at work during lunch. For some high stake events, I slack off a bit and watched the CTV online broadcast in the afternoon using my laptop while trying to get some work done at the background. We even book a meeting room to watch preliminary hockey games together when the Canadian team is playing.
The city is full of Olympic spirit and the Games indeed brings people closer with each other. I went to downtown twice to experience the Olympic events. I lined up for 5 hours just to hold the gold medal. Everyone in the city becomes more friendly and open. Strangers whom don’t look at each other in normal days now talks to each other. The Olympic seems universal catalyst to begin a conversation. Everyone has something to say about the Games.
I watched the hockey semi-final and final at a local pub. I wanted to watch it in downtown with the crowd in front of the big TV but I am turned off by the traffic and long line up. The hockey game connects everyone in the pub together. People smile at each others’ Canada goodies and we make waves during game. When there are a full room of people cheering for the same team with me, I really feel like Canada is where I belong. The mood of the whole pub is controlled by what is happening in the TV. When Canada is leading 2-0, we are all yelling and cheering. When the US tie Canada 20 seconds before the end of game, everyone is dead silence. When Crosby score the golden goal, everyone gets loud and give high fives to anyone. It’s a weird scene that the whole pub sing O Canada after we won the game full of enjoyment.
We have spent $1.67 billion to host the Olympic Games, we won’t know whether we can will break even or not. However, Canada won 13 gold medals and 25 medals in total and we gave the world a really good show. I don’t the Economical return of the Games, but it definitely raise the morale of the country and united the Canadian identity. Regardless of your background, your colour, everyone in Canada is together with Team Canada striving to win the hockey game. This is the most watched hockey game ever in Canada history, probably in the world too.