Over the final weekend, I tried to check out some of the venues I had missed during the previous two weeks. One was the Richmond Ozone...a clever name for the city's Live City site near the Richmond Oval. I was particularly impressed with an exhibition of speed skating gear on display in the City Hall, and enjoyed watching this young girl trying on a suit...As I watched the curling on the outdoor screen, I couldn't help but think that curling is a lot like playing chess on ice...you really do have to think a few moves ahead...Wondering around the city, I thought the newspaper boxes told the story...We watched the game on large screens at John Furlong's previous assignment...the Arbutus Club and then headed off to the streets. In addition to the very big party downtown, there were spontaneous parties around the city, including this gathering on West Broadway which I enjoyed with my daughter Claire. I watched the Closing Ceremonies with Claire, Georgia and Patrick. While I very much enjoyed the self-deprecating humour, the fine words by Furlong (although his French made Joe Clark sound like a linguist) and the magnificent staging, (the audience looked terrific on TV and I'm sure it was even more fantastic in the stadium) I couldn't help but wonder how the program played in Slovenia or elsewhere around the world. Will it bring people to Canada? Was it a good and appropriate closing to the two week extravaganza?The ending was somewhat abrupt, and I couldn't help but agree with Patrick that it seemed like the organizers had added the final group at the last minute to provide some ethnic diversity...without leaving enough time to properly wind up the ceremony.
But I want to end on a positive note. The Olympics far exceeded my expectations in terms of bringing the city and country together. They did reflect very well on our country, and the athletic performances by participants from around the world were outstanding. One of media outlets is asking us to pick one word to describe the entire event. For now, I'll go with INSPIRING...and UNFORGETTABLE.ps I can't help but wonder what will happen to all of the Olympics paraphernalia...the CTV banners, etc...hopefully it will all get auctioned off with funds going to support Canadian athletes. But I will never part with my Canadian scarf, hoody and Russian hat, modelled by the lovely little girl on West Broadway.