One year ago Team Cheryl Bernard and Team Kevin Martin marched into the Opening Ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics and into the hearts of Canadians. For two glorious weeks we saw them display their remarkable shot making skills, their passion and their determination for all of Canada to share.
As media and public celebrations mark the one-year anniversary of the Vancouver Olympics we are delighting in reliving the moments and memories of the unforgettable month of February 2010.
My role going into Vancouver was as a member of a team responsible to ensure our Canadian Teams were prepared and supported. The CCA Vancouver support team, were veterans of multiple Olympics and yet everyone knew this one would be unique. Early on we were warned that the media attention would be unprecedented, but as we prepared to meet the challenge of what was to be the most closely watched curling event in history, we had no idea how special the experience would be.
From the moment we moved into the spectacular Athlete’s Village and found ourselves sleeping in the rooms that the men’s hockey team would eventually occupy, sitting next to Alexander Ovechkin over lunch and picking up our suitcase of HBC clothing, every moment of every day was amazing!!
The Vancouver Olympics became Canada’s Games, just as John Furlong predicted. From coast to coast-to-coast Canadians got swept up in the excitement and became willing and enthusiastic participants.
I was one of many thousands who spent hours attempting to buy tickets on line, but when the Games finally began it became crystal clear that tickets were optional! There was just as much action and excitement in the streets of Vancouver and all across the country!
Ten thousand media covered the Vancouver Olympics bringing the Games to homes around the clock across the country and around the world.
6.7 million TV viewers watched the Women’s Gold Medal Game and 6.9 million watched the Men’s Gold medal Game. From being virtually unknown in international competition to be a top five Googled athlete for five consecutive days during the Olympics, Cheryl Bernard became a media darling and a household name.
And who will ever forget the moment that the crowd broke into a spontaneous rendition of O Canada as Marc Kennedy sat in the hack for a routine shot early in a game in one of the preliminary round robin competitions.
We fell in love – with a place, with a moment in history, and with just being part of something special.
Canadians expressed themselves in a way never seen before and the spirit swept the nation. It was every Canadian’s Games and it was a once in a lifetime expression of national pride…. Or was it?
Why can’t we continue to show our patriotism and our passion? Why can’t we demonstrate our enthusiasm in a more overt manner? We are in the middle of the CCA Season of Champions, with an opportunity once again to showcase our sport in a very big way. So let’s cheer on the home teams like its February 2010!