One year, when I was still a young child, our family went on a long summer vacation and returned home the night before the first day of school. I remember crying myself to sleep because I didn’t have time to adjust mentally and the fact that I didn’t want the vacation to end.
I think some of that same feeling re-appeared tonight, without the crying part.
6 and a half years in the making. 17 days of thrilling and compelling athletic competition. A city engulfed in Olympic fever and national pride, the 2010 Winter Games brought to Vancouver an experience of a lifetime. And I’m humbled and grateful to be 1 of 25,000 volunteering “Smurfs” who donned the blue jacket and contributed to these games.
What I’ll remember most are the people I’ve met along the way, be it my team members, fellow volunteers, drivers, media types, athletes or spectators. The conversations and camaraderie we shared as parts of an Olympic network shall be remembered fondly. I wished there was a way for me to bottle this whole experience up and share it with others. But then it just wouldn’t be the same, would it?
I salute VANOC, my fellow blue jacket volunteers and the fine people of Vancouver-Whistler for being such welcoming host to the world. Thank you all for making these games as successful and memorable as they can be. It wasn’t perfect and we had our challenges. But in the end, our true spirit and determination came through with flying colours. Canadians all around the world should be proud of the legacy of Vancouver 2010.
I don’t know what the Paralympics will be liked but I’m looking forward to be surprised and moved by a different group of inspired athletes and a dedicated volunteer work force.
Until then, I shall take this time to cherish, reflect and savor all the memories etched in my mind.
“We’ve been through some things together, with trucks of memories still to come. We found things to do in stormy weather. Long may you run.”
– Neil Young