The Olympic Games are now over. It is very easy to pick out every little thing that didn’t go as planned and drone on and on about some poor decisions. Putting a chain link fence around the flame was a bad idea. Karin Lee Gartner and Gaetan Boucher not being a part of the opening or closing ceremonies was a bad idea. Drinking beer and smoking cigars on the ice was a bad idea. Yes all these things are small negatives. But overall only a grim pessimist would focus on those types of things instead of what the games really brought out.
These Olympic Games may be the best thing to happen to this country since confederation. In my lifetime I can not remember anything that tied this country together like these games. The pride in our athletes was topped only by our pride in Vancouver and how well they hosted and that is topped only by how we as Canadians embraced our song, our country and most importantly each other.
It is certainly important that the rest of the world walks away from the games with a positive impression of Canada and Canadians, but selfishly I believe the greatest legacy will not be the facilities and infrastructure but rather the connection Canadians seem to feel in each other. The only other thing since confederation to unite this country in this way has been war. This is a far better form of national glue than the death and sacrifice of war.
Congratulations to the organizers, the broadcasters who brought it all into our homes, the people of BC for selling us this bill of goods and congratulations for all of us skeptical and reserved Canadians who bought what they were selling.
See you at the rink.