I live in Vancouver, British Columbia — home and soon to be host of the 2010 Olympic winter games. And can you believe it — the other day, I suggested we get cable to watch the games.
In a little under four weeks, my city will be turned inside out for the event. Not that we haven’t been turned inside out already. Transport officials have already warned us that public transportation will look a lot like it does during the Celebration of Light, an event that spreads over four nights and manages hundreds of thousands of people on public transportation over the span of about 6 hours. So basically, we’ve been told it will be like that, only 2 to 4 weeks long. Hip, hip.
I live on Commercial Drive, which will be turned into a semi-military zone with an ice rink that will host Olympic hockey team practices. I have friends who are dancing, acting, singing, and filming in the opening and closing ceremonies as well as in events throughout the entire length of the games. And I have no doubt Vancouver’s anti-games community will be represented across the city in it’s designated protest spots as well as outside of them. And then there’s me, right-smack in the middle of it all, on the phone, trying to negotiate a basic cable package.
It’s not like I’m a zombie who just sits and watches television all day. But like most people in the city, I will not be one of the privileged few actually sitting and cheering on our athletes in our host city venues. It doesn’t really leave me too many options. I can join the crowds and huddle in front of the jumbo screens they’re placing throughout the city and watch the ceremonies. Honestly, that’s not really my style.
While Vancouver’s top brass prepares for this once-in-a-lifetime event and the world descends upon Vancouver, the flame, so-to-speak, that is the spirit of this fascinating and beautiful city is left in the hands of those who traverse it’s streets everyday — Vancouverites, of which I am one. With this in mind, I’m strongly thinking about ditching the cable package and venturing out , yellow gumboots on and marching forward, in search of… what? If I’m lucky, I won’t find the Olympics, but rather the small moments that build the community that makes the city that’s part of the country that belongs to this planet that hosts this world event every four years.
Who’s with me?