The winter Olympics was officially closed just hours ago in this beautiful Pacific Northwest city of Vancouver! And what a truly memorable way it was for Canada to end the Olympics by winning the last gold medal in Men’s Ice Hockey by defeating USA in a nail biting overtime game! Definitely one of the sporting matches I’ll remember for a long time to come! Not only was this gold crucial to preserve the reputation of Ice Hockey being Canada’s game, but it was also a record breaking feat which allows Canada bragging rights of being the only nation to have attained 14 golds in Winter Olympic history! (Though it has to be noted USA also had a record breaking total of 37 medals, of which 9 are golds)
With records like these and the successful completion of the Games, it is no wonder Canadians and Olympic Visitors took to the streets of Downtown Vancouver today to celebrate! And party they did! In my opnion, the successful hosting of the Winter Olympics didn’t just come from the athletes but by the carnival-like atmosphere created by the fans and visitors, by the warmth of the locals and the sportsmanship of the participants and all supporters! There wasn’t any rioting, rather it was pure unadulterated showcase of happiness and joy! Honestly I haven’t seen such display of celebration in Vancouver, not even during New Year’s Eve countdown or celebration. When they say happiness is infectious, it truly is! One could just join in the crowds high-fiving everyone on the streets, fans waving the Canadian Maple Leaf flag (or any other country’s flag for that matter) and truly share in the joy the Canadian people have for winning in sports and welcoming the world to their lifestyle.
As a multiple time visitor to Canada, I could only say that the recent Olympics showed me how great it means for people living in the country! It is their combination of great weather, delicious food, amazing landscapes and majestic outdoors that creates their national identity and character which welcomes like-minded people to share in the joy that their country has to offer! Not for one day since the Olympics started that the Vancouver is quiet, as fans from around the world (from Sweden and Latvia to South Korea and China) just came out in force to support their teams. The atmosphere truly builds up as it nears the end of the Games as the host country Canada gains more medals and starts moving up the medal tables! (Canada ends third in total medal tally behind USA and Germany but ranks highest in the number of Gold medals obtained) It’s like this Winter Olympics brought out the pride of the Canadian people and allowed them to show their way of celebrating life at its fullest! Truly a memorable experience just to be here!