The downtown vibe

March 3, 2010 by  

The strangest thing in the world is seeing Granville and Robson quiet and empty in the morning and packed with people from all over the world only a few hours later.

Every Tuesday and Saturday for the last 17 days of the Olympics, I would wake up at 5:30 a.m. and make my way to Robson Square by SkyTrain for volunteer work with a company called DigiBC that specializes in technology for media outlets.

Once at Robson Square, I got an almost eerie feeling seeing the streets around me empty, other than for a few reporters and Vancouverites starting an early day at work.

Then, when my volunteer work was done, I would head back outside to see the previously roomy sidewalks turned into a giant international can of sardines.

And yet, I felt as if I was at home among the thousands of people surrounding me.

I realized that this is what the Olympics must truly be about.

The power of sport brought the world together for two weeks and no matter where I looked, I saw everyone getting along, only gently pushing through crowds when necessary and being good sports about the sports whether their country won or lost.

It amazed me that such a thing could happen.

I was always one of the folks who were cautious about what having the Olympics in Vancouver would do to such a beautiful city.

But being part of it changed my mind and at the end of each day, I honestly did not want to leave Vancouver.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t be downtown when Team Canada won hockey gold on Feb. 28, but seeing what it looked like on television was enough for me to understand how thrilling it must have been.

I’m curious to see the streets of Vancouver now that the Olympics are over.

I wonder if the powerful feelings I’ve had there for the last two weeks can ever be achieved again.


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