Wednesday, February 17, 2010

O, Canada

image by Lucian Savluc

I love Canada. The people, the landscape, the laws, the cities, the national anthem. If I ever finally get fed up with U.S. policy, I'm so going Canadian. Vancouver is one of my favorite cities, home to one of the the best vacations I ever took with my now husband (then studly boyfriend) in our free-wheelin' kidless days. We stayed in a pretty little cottage with an outdoor hot tub, went snowtubing and shopping and exploring and cross country skiing at night, an evening which I've probably romanticized since in my memory it was both snowing and a full moon, which just doesn't make sense. Anyway, that's how it felt. And in the middle of the ski trail, there sat a snow-covered fairy tale log cabin with happy glowing windows and a big fireplace where we stopped to drink cocoa. Then we finished our ski, and I plowed face first into a snowbank. Yes, I know. Dreamy.

Anyway, this is all to say, I love the Olympics. And I'm happy that they are in Vancouver this year.

I am rooting for the city, hoping that, ultimately, Vancouver will be remembered as a successful host of the games. I've seen a whole lot of Olympic coverage since Friday night's opening ceremonies, and despite a few widely publicized mishaps and mistakes, there have been some wonderful moments.

There were, for instance, sections of the opening ceremony that I found stunning. I was most impressed by director David Atkins's use of hundreds of projectors to create beautiful visual effects, like the moment I've posted below, when the stadium floor turned into an arctic sea with three-dimensional whales swimming beneath it:

I'm also an ardent fan of Joni Mitchell, whose latest recorded (and brilliant) version of "Both Sides Now" played background to a segment honoring Canada's prairies. I admit, the segment itself was slightly hokey, but Joni Mitchell can make any moment heartfelt.

And then, of course, I'm a sucker for the medal ceremonies, and the Bob Costas interviews, and the human interest segments on the athletes. I loved watching Canada receive the first gold medal won on Canadian soil, and I felt the joy of the Chinese figure skaters who, both in their THIRTIES (the fogies), came out of retirement to win their first gold medal on Monday night.

I'm not an outspoken patriot, not a huge sports fan, but there's something about the Olympics, isn't there? Somehow, it makes me tear up at national anthems and become fiercely loyal to athletes I've never heard of.

I'd say I wish the games happened every year, but that would ruin the magic. Call me a sentimental fool, but that's what the Olympics are to me: sparkly, sniffly, human magic.


  1. I love the Olympics, especially when they're right in my backyard (across the border).

  2. I 100% agree about Joni Mitchell. I love that song too.

  3. but that's what the Olympics are to me: sparkly, sniffly, human magic. <--- word.



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