On Friday, February 5, the town of Whistler (and thousands of new friends) gathered to welcome the flame that that has spent three months travelling across our vast nation.
Patriotism was rampant throughout the village. I’ve never seen so many Canadian flags, toques, shirts, mitts and scarves. Even the random German flag and old dude chanting “USA, USA!” were welcomed.
Folk music kicked off celebrations in Village Square in the early afternoon. This stage will see the likes of the Barenaked Ladies, Matisyahu and plenty more Canadian artists who are playing throughout the Games.
Later in the evening, an estimated 15,000 people crowded into Skiers’ Plaza to watch the torch travel on snowmobile withCanadian skicross athlete, Julia Murray, on skis with Crazy Canuck ski racer, Steve Podborski, and finally by foot with local mountain biking star, Tyler Allison. Tyler was selected to light Whistler’s community cauldron.
I was in Montreal when I first heard that Vancouver/Whistler had won the Olympic bid. Even so far away, my heart skipped a beat at the thought of the world’s largest party coming to my backyard. After all, I had arrived in Sydney, Australia just one month after the 2000 Summer Games ended and the atmosphere was still electric.
Now, after years of anticipation for some – and opposition for others – we are just 4 days away from the kick off of the 2010 Winter Games. I can’t believe it!
As someone who has grown up in this incredible province of British Columbia, I’m truly humbled by the fact that the world is descending upon our communities to watch the best athletes on the globe compete. I can’t wait to see Whistler Village come alive with music, art and people from all over the world. The Olympics are what we as individuals make of them. As we all know, this opportunity comes around but once in a lifetime. Let the Games begin!
For a full list of Whistler Live! bands and DJs, check out Whistler2010.com.