Well, it’s been almost 3 weeks since I have returned from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the Samsung Mobile Explorers Competition. I miss it. I miss the people, the city of Vancouver, and the excitement of the competition. The question I have been getting the most from friends and family is, “So, how was it?”. My responses have varied between, “Awesome”, “Unbelievable”, “Exhausting” and “How was what?”.
There really is no way to describe the feeling of witnessing history. I would say that I experienced two sides to the Olympic Games, both very different and memorable for different reasons. First of all, being in the center of all the action was an intense experience – one that I will remember always. Every night seemed to be a bigger and better party than the night previous. Whether it was stumbling in line for the Zip Line across Robson St., devouring massive amounts of food and drink at Korean BBQ and The Kobe House, weaving in and out of the crazy crowds on Granville Street during the nightly street parties, or slipping through the VIP access to the Olympics LIVE venue to see Deadmau5 tear up the turntables. Vancouver managed to exceed my expectations on all levels and left me dying to get back in the near future.
The other side of the Olympic Games was one that I didn’t anticipate experiencing. The side of the city that bonded together not only as a community but as a country. We talked to hundreds of native Canadian residents from around the nation on the street over the course of our stay and every single one of them was enjoying “the spirit” of the games. I’ve heard talk of “the spirit” and even thought I had seen it on TV during Olympics past. But nothing prepared me for getting caught up in “the spirit” of an Olympic Games during my stay. I thought I would be an outsider, looking in on a big party I couldn’t join. The reality was, I was embraced as an outsider and by the end of my trip felt as much a part of the Canadian pride as Canadians themselves.
Hosting the Olympic Games in Vancouver, winning their first gold medal during a games hosted on home-turf, and the elite honor of winning the most gold medals in any winter olympic games in history bonded Canadians together. I was a part of history just by being there. It was quite an experience. I have been telling people it was like watching a country bond together in the same respects the US bonded together post 9-11. Everyone wanted to show you how much pride they had in any way they could. It was humbling. So now when people ask me, “So, how was it?” I can confidently say “The most amazing experience I’ve been a part of in a very long time”. And with that, I’m off to enjoy spending my $24,000. See you at the 2012 games in London!