Monday, 15 February 2010

Honey It's Been A Long Time Coming And I Can't Stop Now Such A Long Time Running

Can we talk about the Olympics for a minute? I'm sorry if you're suffering from Olympic overload. I promise to be quick and then I'll get back to posting my month of photos.

I was upset when Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Olympics. I'm not going to explain why I was upset because that would be a long-winded post indeed. I will just say that I feel like Vancouver did not have its priorities straight. That being said, I have never protested the Olympics. My feelings fall in the grey area between elation and rage.

I am conflicted. I love the Olympics; I feel pride in our athletes; I feel joy for Alex Bilodeau, the first Canadian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal on Canadian soil. I just worry that Vancouver's Olympic legacy will not be a positive one. No one knows (or no one is saying) how much the Olympics is costing us. I'm worried that an already expensive city to live in will become even more unmanageable for the average citizen.

The Olympics are here whether I support them or not. The city is alive and buzzing with an indescribable energy. I plan to take full advantage of it over the next two weeks. I will visit the free attractions; I will take photos of the monuments and art and celebrations to share with my bedridden mother; I will celebrate the Canadian athletes' achievements; I will not stay at home and pout.

And I will support the rights of the peaceful protesters while reserving my right to feel anger at the self proclaimed "anarchists" who roam the street, causing property damage and engaging in violence with the police, whose actions only result in the dilution of the protesters' message and credibility.

Vancouver is a beautiful city and I am so happy to be here. Happy but conflicted.


  1. i concur. as much as i was against the olympics at the beginning, i am loving it now. the buzz in the city is AMAZING!!! but i am worried about the increase of cost-of-living, people, and chaos that will be left behind.
    not so happy about the damage that *some* protesters are leaving in their wake. i dont think damaging the city is getting their point across. i am all for free speech, but violence and destruction, not so much.

  2. I love that ad, but getting kinda overplayed. Oh well. The chicky on the rocks is Sarah McLachlan right? (She's the only one I'm not sure of).

  3. We were talking about how the cost issue hasn't been mentioned at all just last night, and particularly about how creepy it was. I worry too. I haven't heard anything about how everything with in East Hastings is being handled, and I understand that the loss of revenue in the local arts scene has been financially catastrophic. It's a great event, but it's really like nothing else in terms of scale.

    Here's hoping that when everyone goes home our media recovers its senses and we hear how it actually shook out.

  4. It's a deeply conflicted issue. I was downtown and saw the "arnachists" destroying buildings and was just disgusted. Mothers with strollers breaking windows.

    I think it's hilarious that PHS gave out 500 bright red tents for the homeless to use during the olympics and the city is furious about it - but I've not yet seen a single red tent up and about.

    I live close to East Hastings and see my fair share of drug-addicted homeless each and everyday - they simply see the olympics as a way to make more money.

    Truly sad.

  5. I worry. But right now, I'm trying to enjoy the moment. We are paying for it after all.

    I was truly horrified at the anarchists masquerading as protesters. It takes away the valid concerns of the peaceful protests.

  6. I don't understand why people have to go about destroying things. What point are they trying to prove? They did similar things during the summer olympics. No one is listening to them because they are being ridiculous!

    That being said I think I can see what you're saying about it becoming expensive for your city. Hopefully though once this is all over, it will have had a more positive affect rather than a negative one.

  7. Sweets and I are going to spend the next two weeks drooling over your little piece of the world. We really love Vancouver and the surrounding areas. Love.

  8. oof, i didn't know about the "anarchists." i think i'd probably be conflicted as well, but going out and taking advantage of the experience and the energy seems awesome. especially since then we get to live vicariously through you and experience the olympics up close!

  9. i totally agree - but it's driving me bonkers that the media is calling them "anarchists." i'm glad they're differentiating between the hooligans and the protesters - but "anarchists" isn't the right word, either. all the anarchists i know do things like organize book trades, grow veggies in their front yards, and hold free school groups on things like fixing your own bike. so i think we should all just agree to refer to them as "those asshats in black hoodies." not to give hoodies a bad name!

  10. I'm glad you are celebrating. There's so much negativity around these games that it's hard when fellow Vancouverites only add to it. Thankfully the amount of people I know who spent the weeks coming up to the "Failympics" complaining, whingeing and whining has lessened.

    What was even worse was every time I would talk about how I was excited about the games, they would shit all over my happiness. I understand people are upset, but it's not fair to try and bring the happy people down, just because you don't like it.

    God grant me the serenity to accept things I can not change, was my rebuttal to them.

    Yeah, it'll cost us. So you might as well enjoy it, right?

  11. The You Gotta Be Here ads make me so proud and the energy in the city is undeniably amazing. The Olympics aren't perfect - far from it, of course. I worry about the aftermath, but right now, they are happening, and it is hard to do anything but embrace the sea of red and white filling the city.