The city of Vancouver is electric right now as we host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. And despite all kinds of talk over the past year about what a disruption the games would be, how much money they would cost us etc. I don’t think anyone can deny how incredible this is. Call me naive, or call me Pollyanna, but I for one am thoroughly enjoying this entire experience and so far my life has been able to carry on in somewhat of a state of normality, despite all the excitement.
I live just across the bridge from downtown in South Granville and although we’re only 20 minutes away (walking) from the action, the games are clearly not happening over here. I’ve been able to drive, park, get Starbucks, groceries, get to and from my office, meet with clients etc. with no major issues. And then, when I’ve crossed over into the super mario land of downtown with my Canada Jersey on and cow bell in hand I’ve been able to get in to the true spirit of this Nation and it’s love and it’s celebration of these times.
Speaking of celebration I was profoundly struck by something when we (and by we, I mean Canada’s Jenn Heil) won the first medal, a silver in the ladies moguls. Karen Bharke from the USA was the winner of the bronze medal and I don’t think it will come as a shock to anyone who watched the race or the awards ceremony to hear me say, she was a bit over the top with her celebration. I wasn’t sure if she was also a dancer or maybe a gymnast as I watched her pirouetting and jumping around awaiting the ceremony portion of the evening. But it got me to thinking….
Before the games started, our Prime Minister, Steven Happer, urged Canadians to allow “uncharacteristic outburst of patriotism” and to “feel bashful about waving the flag”. I remember thinking – what’s that all about – we’re Patriotic! Then as I watched the celebration portion of the night play out on Cypress Mountain as Canada accepted it’s first medal of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games – I realized what he meant. Karen Bharke was celebrating, big time, where as Jenn Heil and even the Gold Medalist Hannah Kearney were far more reserved. My initial reaction was one of annoyance with Karen, thinking “tone it down chick” and in that moment I realized something profound. When we are modest in our celebration, when we aren’t over the top, when we don’t express our emotions to the enth degree, do we miss out on the true experience?
It’s an interesting concept to ponder and I don’t think either way is right, nor wrong. I just wonder on an energetic level if by holding back our emotions and being less expressive, do we hinder ourselves us from experiencing the potential feelings that come with celebrations on this scale. I wonder…..
So, like any good Canadian pondering such a big question, I went out and celebrated in my own ‘over the top’ way. To see and feel what it was like to engage in such a big way. And let me tell you, it felt good!