A turbulent journey to the heart of the Olympic dream

March 3, 2010 by  

Red spray paint, broken glass, long lineups and one dead. 

There’s no question, as the city erupted into a magnificent state of chaos and high fives, the Olympic experience manifested from day one with the ferocity of a thousand hippos. 

The past two weeks in Vancouver have been a wild demonstration of unfettered patriotism and drunken delight — oh yeah, and of superior athletic performance.

For the first time ever, I have witnessed people from across Canada truly unite under the influence of two colours and one flag.

For those two Olympic weeks, nothing else seemed to matter.  As long as you were drinking beer and cheering for Canada, you belonged. 

By day three, I’d lost my credit card, partied with a millionaire, wore a beer tray on my head at the Heineken House courtesy of a Dutch bartender, slept on a bathroom floor, missed a day of work, witnessed an Olympic protest and pondered the merits of fascism. 

Strangely enough, I wasn’t sure how it all fit together. 

What was the Olympic dream?

In the second week, when America defeated Canada in game two of men’s hockey, a fleeting wave of panic rolled over the red-and-white homeland, like a realization that its national identity could indeed be mortal.

But it was a divine fallacy solved by fate and Sydney Crosby in the gold medal game between the two rival teams.

The universe can be enigmatic sometimes, but it never lies. 

The gold medal in men’s 2010 Olympic hockey is the answer and solution to any existential question or identity crisis any Canadian with a hangover may have.

At least for the next four years. 


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