I have to admit, I wasn’t much of an Olympic enthusiast until a few days ago. I kind of jumped on the band wagon as hype started to increase around town. We don’t own any Olympic gear, don’t have tickets for any Olympic events, only know a few seconds of the theme song (the clip they play over and over and over) and weren’t really planning on doing much more than watching a few things on TV.
But something kind of clicked last week when I started to think about it and when the Olympic torch relay became daily news because it was coming into the area. And my patriotic side started to swell up. And now I want to witness our piece of history. So when I found out that the flame was going to be run basically outside our front door, we figured it was a good time to show some spirit.
It was a dark and chilly morning and we bundled the girls up, barely awake, into the double buggy and whisked them across the street to Starbucks for a hot drink and breakfast sandwich. Then took our place along the street with a handful of other early risers. The Olympic flame started out at 6:12 am in South Surrey and headed down 152nd street into White Rock. We stood in the dark with many other people and their families, awaiting our give our patriotic hooray to the torchbearer. Even if the kids don’t remember it (Emma might, Caelyn won’t) it’s a memory that we’ve got, complete with pictures and video. The street wasn’t packed and it was still dark out when the flame came by so it was a little hard to get as worked up as we could have been somewhere else or at a cauldron lighting. But it was still neat. And even though we were bundled up in jackets, snowpants (for the kids), hats and gloves, we were wearing our Canadian reds underneath. Emma was disappointed that she forgot her Miga and Sumi McDonald’s toys, but I promised her she could wave them around at some other event, like some at Holland Park.
The only disappointing thing is that I can’t seem to find anywhere the name of the torchbearer on our leg of the relay. I found the name of the one right before and the White Rock names but I’m surprised that there isn’t a full list of torchbearers published anywhere on the web. Even the official Olympic Torch Relay site only has the route map and a few celebrity names. I realize that there are about 220 torchbearers in Surrey alone, so a full listing is going to be, well, lengthy. But it would be nice to stick a name with the guy’s face.
We are attending a concert tonight as part of the Cultural Olympiad, and planning on heading out to some of the free celebrations and concerts in the coming weeks. We might even find someone with a TV so we can watch the Opening Ceremonies. And just because red is my favourite colour I might invest in some of those cute Olympic mittens.
I don’t buy into the whole “Believe” campaign of this Olympics, but I am proud to be Canadian. And I don’t want my kids to turn to me in 10 years and say, “Hey, the Olympics were right here and the flame ran right past our door and we didn’t even watch?” So I’ll be a bandwagon fan for a while. It’s easier than getting upset at all the interruptions to normal life around town. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!