Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Red mittens

On the Eve of the Olympic Torch arriving to Squamish, I realize that I still haven't bought those - by now famous - red mittens for Bella. I've been telling her for over a month that I'll go get her some. And here I am. Less that 24 h to go and not a red mitten in sight. Don't get me wrong, I know that she will survive this too and I am sure that there are many other children that don't have theirs, but still.... I should have gotten her some mittens! My only hope is that there are some cheap knock-off ones in one of the local stores, because I obviously won't be able to get to the Bay before tomorrow.
Last night Bella asked if I have ever seen the Olympic Torch before. She was quite shocked to find out that I haven't (what that says about how old she thinks I am, I do not wish to dwell upon...). I explained to her that this is a very unique thing that is happening around us and that most people never get to experience what it is like to have their home-town host an event of this magnitude. It was as if this was a completely new revelation to her - she seems to have been under the impression that the Olympics and the Torch Relay take place all over the world, all of the time. Did we miss telling her this? In all the talk about the sports and the costs and the venues and the roads, did we never mention what an honour this is? How rare this is? Did we never talk about Olympism, of promoting peace and understanding through sport, of the sense of pride we take in the accomplishments of our nations athletes, of how this is BCs chance to shine? Well, thankfully it is not to late yet - I have 8 more days...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The temperature is rising

- and by that I am not only referring to the fact that it looks very much like spring in Vancouver these days. 10 days to go until the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and the crab-apple tree in our front yard is almost in bloom. 10 days to go and there is barely any snow on Cypress Mountain. 10 days to go until the world will get introduced to a Canada that most definitely does not fit the stereotypical image of a cold, snowy country up north.

Yes, the temperature definitely is rising, both literally and figuratively - it is starting to dawn on us that the Olympics are finally here. 6 1/2 years ago, when Jaques Rogge made the announcement that awarded the 21st Winter Games to ¨the city of .... Vancouver¨, and during all the years of preparations following, February 12, 2010, seemed so far away. Hard to believe that as of tomorrow we are actually down to single digits on the count-down clock.

These days everything that is said or done seem to have one thing or another to do with the Olympics. The weather reports. The traffic updates. The lack of parking in Whistler. Olympic buses and other vehicles everywhere (dang, there sure are a lot of those Acadias around!). Red mittens and Canada flags. The mass exodus of locals heading for sunnier shores. It's here. It is all that we expected and much that we didn't.

In two days I start my own Olympic experience. I will be working as an assistant to one of the National Olympic Committees (guess which one ; ) and I can't express how excited I am to finally being able to put on my blue jacket and be a part of this once in a life-time event! The Olympics are coming to my own back-yard. How wild is that?