Yea - wasn't that a party?! 16 days, 17 nights of international good times, sporting excellence, shared human sadness, joy and pride. Our B & B's guests from Canada, the USA, the Netherlands and Switzerland enjoyed themselves immensely. Like tens of thousands of other visitors, they will carry the word that Vancouver is a "can do" city that is much more than just a pretty face.
Those of us who live here feel kind of lonesome today. Even as normal life picks up again, there is a strange kind of feeling that yes, the party's over and the guests are heading home, but dammit, didn't we just pull off something enormously difficult and complex in this post 9/11 world? We gave it our best effort and rolled with the punches.
Most commentators today seem to think Vancouver did most all of it with panache and true Canadian decency. In Russia, Putin and company are firing all their top sports brass for their team's inadequate performance. The next Winter Olympics in Sochi look like a real struggle starting almost from scratch. In Britain, the organizers of the next Summer Olympics vow to learn from Vancouver's exceptional organization, volunteer effort and try to achieve something like the same warm national embrace. Sebastian Coe hopes for some of Vancouver' s "magic". With a budget already four times over budget, a cynical media and a dangerous security threat, good luck to them as well.
Here in Canada and the USA , where television viewership set new ratings records, both countries have something to cheer about. The USA captured the most medals overall and the largest number they have won at any Winter Games. Canada, with one-tenth the population, also won more medals than ever before and more gold medals than any country has ever won at a Winter Olympic Games.
World news may now go on to politics as usual, the next disaster, NHL, NBA and NFL regular seasons, the World Cup in South Africa, the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, back to the stress and inevitable hating but we should all remember, that for two weeks in 2010, there was love and excitement and friendship in the air in Vancouver. And we did win that little hockey game too!