Vancouver Olympics Reflections

March 17, 2010

By Dr. Carolyn Anderson
On My Mind March 2010

In 2003, the Olympic selection committee chose Vancouver as the site of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, setting the stage for a grand meeting place of culture and human competition.

The Games certainly delivered and provided incredible inspiration for people of all ages. It began with an incredible torch light journey that galvanized the entire nation. These Games were not just the Vancouver Games they were the Canadian Games.

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay began on October 30th 2009 in Victoria, British Columbia and travelled across Canada to end in Vancouver on opening day. Approximately 12,000 people of all ages from coast to coast to coast ran, walked, paddled, wheeled and sailed during the history making 106-day, 45,000-kilometre journey across Canada.

The 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver BC provided more inspiration and moments of awe than I had even anticipated. The coming together of athletes from all nations around the world in the pursuit of peaceful competition was incredible. Add the unique ambiance of the Olympic spirit, and Vancouver 2010 represented an unparalleled opportunity to enrich the spirit and inspire the best of renewal and contribution in each competitor and visitor of all ages, races, political stances and spiritual denominations. It was a coming together of not only a nation but all of humanity.

There were so many incredible moments and amazing stories of determination that came out of these Games. I found myself inspired daily as I followed the athletes in their quest for Gold. One athlete stood out as an amazing example of perseverance, focus and determination…the amazing performance of Joannie Rochette.

Joannie Rochette’s story is heartbreaking but also inspiring.

Joannie Rochette: Photo By David W. Carmichael

Here was a woman, who on Sunday learned that her mother Therese died quite suddenly and extremely unexpectedly. But, on Tuesday, Joannie hit the Olympic ice at the Pacific Coliseum and proceeded to skate what turned out to be her best short performance of the season. She then melted into tears upon receiving a standing ovation from the crowd.

Rochette stood alone on the biggest stage she’d ever been on in her life, with the unbearable stress of losing the foundation of her life, her mother and her friend weighing on her, yet she skated like she’d never skated before. She went on through adversity and triumphed. It was such a poignant moment.

I don’t know if doing this sort of thing should be called courageous. All I’m certain of is that it is remarkable. For any of us who’ve lost a relative so dear, we know what it is like just to get up the next morning or go to sleep that night.

The Olympics draw out on a micro level, the emotions, pride, contentions and drama which each of us experience as members of the human race. These Games revealed the incredible potential our nation has for mobilizing our strength, diversity and compassion.

The closing ceremonies poked fun at how nice Canadians are with the “I’m sorry” comedy routine. But I think we should be proud of this and I also think we can embrace the compassion and expand it into creating solutions for our country and examples for the world.

Never forget that what people believe of you has the capacity to affect your performance. If people believe that we as Canadians are nice let’s capitalize on this and create positive change in the world. Let’s bottle the spirit and keep the flame alive.

What were your favorite Olympic moments?

About the Author: Dr. Carolyn Anderson is the founder of Impowerage. Her mission in life is to empower seniors with the information they need to continue living healthy active lifestyles.

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  • Kelly

    The Joannie Rochette story is one of my favorite memories as well. Even now I can’t think of her without tearing up a bit. I’m glad she was able to persevere and do what she has trained for so long to do. Her mom would have been so proud

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