It would appear that the big O event brings out the best and the worst in folks. It feels surreal that it is happening out in the city and the mountains, and here I am at home, on my maternity leave, and life moves on. Although seeing some of the events and displays down town would be interesting, the idea of going there with two young children in tow is not appealing by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe a late night drive to check out some of the lights and stuff happening, but not with the crowds.
Our news reporting of the events is all over the board. It seems there is lots of repetition, and the network that doesn't have the rights to broadcast seems to be dwelling on everything negative or dramatic. It seems that there is a mixed response to the opening (which is fair) and our weather is getting a bit slammed (which is fair and out of our control, really, truly, the warmest record ever on the heels of one of the worst? ironic to say the least), and weird delays that are happening (like Zamboni's breaking down and the replacement still has steel studs on it?!). There are also some really positive things happening out there too, but that isn't always what is being reported.
Like RCMP ride is sold out every day, the response has been huge. The cauldron is a hit. There are tons of people hitting the streets in the city, and places like the Irish House had a 5 hour line up to get in over the weekend. Funny, you don't hear a lot about stuff like that when you can make better headlines emphasizing that event ticket holders were refunded because of rain up on Cypress.
I had mixed feelings about the opening - some things went on too long, some things were a bit cheesy, some things really hit the mark, and then there was a bit of a technical glitch (understatement). I also felt that the final torchbearers should have been folks that had not had the opportunity to carry the torch previously. Fair enough, the Great One had not carried it yet, but the rest had... like.. hello??!!!
All in all, the opening was decent. While I am on a whinge, I still think that the speed skating oval should have been built at the university and not at sea level, ah well, that is how it is. The security seems so much, so excessive... and then there are all the rules of Van0c. They encroach upon the ludicrous. The big business element of it all, kind of takes away from what the big O should be about - the athletes, their family, and inspiring folks to new heights.
Which brings me around to a rambling point. A lot has been made about Canada not having won a gold medal on Canadian soil. I think the media flogged this point incessantly and I don't think it was that big of a deal, we do have other gold medals... I get it, but it was just harped upon. This being said, our Canadian fellow who won our first gold medal on Canadian soil... what a great win. What a classy young man who won with true dignity and aplomb. His story really touched me, and for once, I appreciated how some of the media treated/celebrated his win. I watched the late night interview with him and his family, and I felt proud of him, his family, and to be a Canadian where such values and experiences are possible.
So, the big O is many things, at differing times. My dad is working them, and my brother got laid off because of them. Some things happen for which I am proud, other things have happened for which I am not so proud. For better or worse, they are our O.