January 06, 2011

With Glowing Hearts

For years, Vancouverites eagerly anticipated the 2010 Winter Olympics. Time passes swiftly though, and a memorable month of February came and went in what seemed like a blink of an eye. The city and the people of Vancouver hosted a marvelous Games. I was in my hometown for this once in a lifetime event, and the story could not have been written any better. For 17 days, the streets were jam packed with enthusiastic fans of all shapes, sizes, and colours. Strangers passing by high-fived each other in downtown Vancouver. During hockey games, whenever Team Canada scored a goal cheers would resonate through the downtown core like a Mexican wave.

The athletes also did not disappoint. Wayne Gretzky lit the flame to signal the start of the XXI Olympic Winter Games. Early on, Alexandre Bilodeau won Canada’s first ever gold medal on home soil. Canada owned the podium, winning the most gold medals ever captured by a single nation at a Winter Olympics. On the final day of competition, a hockey mad nation watched the final of men's ice hockey with bated breath. Overhead satellite views of cities across Canada would show almost no cars on the street. The Games had a fairy tale ending, as Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal against the United States in sudden death overtime.

The Olympic schedule happily coincided with the Chinese New Year, so I combined the national holiday with my personal vacation days. During my month off, I met my friends and family after almost one year in China. A day after the closing ceremony, I was at the airport to catch my flight back to Beijing along with members of the Chinese contingent. I flew from Vancouver to Beijing, from one Olympic city to another, both changed forever by a few special weeks.


I believe in the power that comes
From a world brought together as one
I believe together we'll fly
I believe in the power of you and I
- Olympic theme song 'I Believe'