Oh boy. Well, that’s it I suppose. The final medal has been awarded, the last giant inflatable beaver has left BC Place, and the last partying red and white painted body has reluctantly peeled away from Robson Square. So now what?
I’m sure that, like me, a lot of you who are in Vancouver felt a sickening feeling of loss and almost depression today. How does one effectively transition from a high like all Canadians felt yesterday after that heart-stopping hockey final, and back it up with an eerily silent transit into town for work today? Sigh…
There was no immediate need for me to proudly wear my #87 Sidney Crosby Team Canada hockey jersey to work. I didn’t need to squeeze onto my morning bus for the first time in 17 days. The brightly coloured country flag circles (including the Aussie one in the middle of the bridge) that adorned Granville Street sidewalks have been erased. My bus travelled unimpeded up Granville Street without having to divert along Seymour, until it reached Smithe. There were no apparel hungry crowds lining up outside “The Bay”.
Oh this depresses me so much writing this…
There was maybe only one huge smile dressed in a sky-blue volunteers jacket waiting for me at Waterfront Station. There were no lineups for the Sea Bus. No odd but happy languages permeating the confines of the Sea Bus. No gang of volunteers at Lonsdale Quay asking me sweetly if I needed to get to Cypress Mountain or Whistler to see an event today, and where I should go if I did.
No streaming Olympic updates on the web to distract me WAY TOO MUCH at work. Nothing to make me want to leave work hours too early to line up for a ridiculous amount of time in lines that possibly would get me nowhere by the end of the night. No problems or delays using transit to get home. A distinct lack of international flags and maple leaves blanketing the city heart on my way home. And no beams of light shooting into the sky over English Bay.
And even as I sit here typing this now, there should be fireworks exploding over LiveCity Yaletown which I can view from my balcony. Alas, not tonight. Sigh…
I’m not the only one feeling down. Oh no. Here’s just a couple of tweets I noticed today from a couple of prominent Vancouver bloggers:
@VancityAllie Voice = gone, Health = sick, condo = disorder, waistline = +5, bank account = empty. But it was all worth it. Our country = united. Bedtime.
I can relate to Allie on pretty much EVERY point she has made there.
@karlwoll Seabus is so empty. No flags. No cheering. Only suitcases. So cold. So lonely. Hold me.
Take heart though people, we still have another 10 days of amazing sporting accomplishments and performances coming up between March 12-21 when the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Winter Games kick-off. If you’re not inspired by what takes place over these days of competition, then you have no heart. Each and every athlete coming to Vancouver for this special event has a story of tragedy, adversity, hope and achievement that will likely match anything we have witnessed so far.
I sincerely hope that the Paralympic athletes’ presence in the city brings about the same energy, support and amazing times that the good people of Vancouver (and Canada) afforded the world’s greatest Winter Olympians throughout February.