February 17, 2010 | 2010 Olympics >
Richmond, Professional & Spectator Sports
British Columbia has been engulfed in all things Winter Games this February, but with a few technical glitches and some of the warmest, wettest weather on record, it has also provided challenges for Olympic organizers. It has even drawn criticism from international media on an entire spectrum of problems that have arose, no matter how small.
On February 16th I was afforded the opportunity to attend the 500m women's speed skating at the Richmond Olympic Oval in Richmond, British Columbia. The event was utterly amazing, from tight races and amazing displays of athletic ability, to hair-raising spills while athletes push their limits.
The event was truly inspiring, but I still could not shake the thoughts of the negative press reports that were putting a focus on events that have nothing to do with the athletes or the principles the Olympic Games stand for.
I was only ever able to shake those thoughts when I stepped out of the oval during the intermission and witnessed groups of people from every different nation staring in awe of the beautiful view. The blanket sky of clouds had parted and the dense canal fog of the morning had dissolved. The fans looked out from a magnificent building onto the quiet and calm water flowing past. Not too far off in the distance was the unmistakeable North Shore mountains and in particular, Cypress Mountain, where I'm sure a few more fans were taking in an equally stunning view from above.
These people had come together to cheer on the athletes from their nation, as well as the nations of all the competitors. But the experience they are having in BC is more than they could have ever imagined. There are plenty of things that are outside of the control of any destination, regardless the time of year. But when it all comes together, it certainly puts on one stunning complimentary show.
On a sunny winter day like that, you realize why you love this place so much. Its just got it all.