The Adventure – Going to the Olympics
The Winter Olympics in Vancouver was FUN.
Not that I saw any games or visited any of the ‘Houses’ put on by the participating countries….but really, what did that matter?
The city was ALIVE!!!!
And it felt pretty awesome to be living downtown, right in the centre of things!
Roaming the streets during the day and at night, watching the fireworks, meeting new best friends, hanging out with my awesome family – it was truly an amazing time.
Without a doubt, the olympics were marred by tragedy – the death of the Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, just hours before the opening ceremony. Then there was the controversial glorious summer weather that left the ski hills barren, without snow.
And of course, you cannot have a big to-do without the expected protesters causing a furor. I didn’t like the property damage aspect of the protest – but then I’m more of a lover, not a fighter.
But the olympics made me feel something I haven’t felt in a very long time.
Filled with national pride, I found myself surrounded by my Canadian brothers and sisters, revelling in the celebration of being alive at this time. When we opened our doors to share our fair city with the rest of the world, goodwill and a sense of global community was felt in every moment.
And I fell in love all over again with Vancouver.
I definitely experienced the ‘post-podium’ depression. When the olympics ended, I was left feeling bereft. I had no idea that when the city went back to normal…the silence would be so deafening. That I would miss all my new friends.
That I’d feel somewhat…empty.
But I am left with the knowledge that ‘we’ did good. That we opened our arms and embraced the global community, welcoming them to our beautiful country, my Vancouver.
Come back again soon, we said to you…
The adventure for me this month was being a part of this huge, larger-than-life event. I don’t know how else to describe it. It took up almost every waking second of my day, my nights. It was more than just a party – it was a celebration of life, a unification of all countries – bringing forth a deep-rooted feeling of my ancestral connections across the globe, embedded within every fibre of my being. I am more than just a Canadian, after all. I belong to every country.
But also, it was my first time at the Olympics.
I got to welcome strangers from across the land to my fair city.
It was the first time I ever ‘deliberately’ watched a hockey game on TV.
And it was the first time in a long time that I spent AWAY from a computer, unplugging from everything, just enjoying the present moment for an entire month.
Being around friends, family, and strangers alike.
No matter what, my entire month was FILLED TO THE BRIM with non-stop F.U.N….and that doesn’t happen every day in my life, let alone for a month.
It was an amazing time and I am glad to have shared it with the rest of my wonderful neighbours across this little planet we call home.
I swilled spirits, met new best friends, and spent a lot of time with my family who came to town for the occasion.
It was full on debauchery, baby.
Well…there’s a good chance my idea of debauchery is different than yours, but no matter. It felt good to play hooky – and it felt even better on the crowded streets as we celebrated our victories, one after the other.
Interesting Historical Factoids about the Olympics
- The Olympics began in 776 BC and were held in honour of Zeus, the king of the Gods. The only competition was a 200 m sprint.
- They are held every 4 years.
- Because of all the wars, the Greeks declared a one month truce during the time of the Olympics so people from other countries could visit.
- Athletes competed in the nude so everyone could ‘appreciate’ the male physique. They were anointed with olive oil which greatly enhanced their looks.
- Some participants wore a penis restraint.
- Instead of a gold medal, winners won an olive branch.
- Running was the main event at the Olympic games, but in 708 BC, wrestling was added into the mix followed by horseback riding, the pentathlon, boxing, long jump, javelin and discus toss, and chariot racing.
- Married women were banned upon penalty of death.
- Single women (typically Spartans) had their own Olympics – the Heraea Games.
- The Christians viewed the Olympics as a pagan festival and banned it in 393 AD.
- In 1896, the Olympics were revived.
Why should you go to the olympics?
- Well, you probably won’t get to see any naked athletes applying liberal amounts of oil on their bodies in order to run any races, but you will get to see the very best of the best that this world has to offer.
- You get to meet people from all over the world who travelled far and wide to support their countries.
- You get to experience different cultures when visiting all the different ‘Houses’ set up by participating countries.
© Monthly Adventure, Patricia Taylor, February 2010