Two weeks ago I fell down my basement stairs and boy did I fall hard. I was in a bit of shock when I finally stopped falling and was lying at the bottom of the stairs. To top it all off I fell again a few days later while walking in a parking lot. A few days after that I really over did it and ended up being on my couch for the next week and a bit while I willed my body to heal. I’m still in a fair amount of discomfort, which I’m hoping will continue to heal quickly.
Now on any other occasion being on the couch for a week would not be a good thing but it just happened that the Vancouver 2010 Olympics were on. I’ve watched the Olympics through the years and always enjoyed them but I’ve never been so impacted by the games as I was over this past 17 days. I became the Olympic expert since I witnessed most of the moments of the games. What I did not anticipate though was to have such a deep heartfelt experience. I saw my country come together in a new way that I’ve never seen, making me feel more proud to be Canadian than ever before. We wore our red and white proudly and declared loudly with glowing hearts our national anthem for all to hear. We saw a humble guy named Alexandre Bilodeau win Gold for the first time on home soil for not only his country but for his inspiration, his brother who has Cerebral Palsy. We were moved as we saw first hand a courageous young woman who had just lost her mother skate the program of her life. Joannie Rochette stole all of Canada’s hearts and earned a bronze medal that may as well have been gold in all of our eyes. When Jon Montgomery won gold we felt more connected to the athletes because we realized they’re just normal people just like us who work hard and dare to dream big. We celebrated as we watched Tessa and Scott make history by being the youngest and first ice dance pair in North America to win gold in ice dancing! We cheered our lungs out as both our Canadian women and men proved once again to the world that hockey is CANADA’S game!!!! We broke the Gold medal record which showed that even though we didn’t have the most medals we still owned the podium.
I cried more than once as I watched these incredible moments. During the closing games VANOC CEO John Furlong talked about the Canada that was compared to the Canada that now is…”And to perhaps compare for a moment the Canada that was with the Canada that now is. I believe we Canadians tonight are stronger, more united, more in love with our country and more connected with each other than ever before. These Olympic Games have lifted us up. If the Canada that came together on Opening night was a little mysterious to some it no longer is. Now you know us, eh”! I love this! It’s funny to say but I feel like this has been a spiritual experience for me and for others too. Something happens when people are joined together, cheering each other on, celebrating their gifts, talent and hard work. Something happens when people from all over the world come together, when there’s community. Something happens inside you when your heart is connected with others and when you cheer so loud because you’re so thankful that you were blessed to be born in the country that you were. I believe with all my heart that it indeed was a spiritual experience from the God who created us for community and joy and celebration and is our loudest cheerleader! This is something that I need to remind myself more often.
So in the next few weeks I’ll have to come down the emotional mountain while I’m in Olympic withdrawal but I don’t ever want to forget the joys of these Vancouver games and the life lessons hidden in them.
Thank you Vancouver 2010 for inspiring Canada and for making us BELIEVE once again.