After an interesting day of work yesterday – more about that later – and a 5:30 am start we were weary volunteers who would have liked to get home and put our feet up in front of the TV.
But we had been invited by a dear friend who is in charge of the BC Place Medical Team, and a young man we had watched grow up from his early years, to the Medals Ceremony at the stadium where it was Manitoba night.
We watched some beautiful video of Manitoba scenes, saw several very talented entertainers and then were part of the Medals Ceremonies for the days events. A chance of a lifetime, the highlight was the Canadian Women’s Bobsleigh teams accepting their Gold and Silver medals on stage with huge grins and lots of hugs. The Canadian nationalistic spirit is very high everywhere!
Organizers did a fantastic job making it a super experience for both the athletes and the audience with 4 large screens to see the athletes up close and personal, and excellent video feeds from Whistler on the medals given for events at those venues. Not a hitch in the programming or the crowd control, security lineups are very reasonable and fast moving with smiling volunteers everywhere, children are handled with great care and attention, and this is a nightly event at this and other venues involving thousands and thousands of people and hundreds of volunteers. It is all very impressive!
After the Medals Ceremony, Burton Cummings and his band blew the house down with ballads interspersed with rock and roll, Winnipeg style. He was having a ball onstage and gave an exceptional show. Thousands of people from all over the world watched and sang along. Canadians from across the country were everywhere with flags and banners, hats and scarves and tremendous national pride – we had just won Gold in Women’s Hockey against our American archrivals. So it was a party!
It was hard to get good pictures because the stadium was aglow with soft lighting and the same snowy mist that was so beautiful at the Opening Ceremonies. The glow from the crowd was just as good, too. But the stage was alight in multi colours and fantastic light show when Cummings and his team took the stage. We had the chance to be down below at stage front but were glad we chose the other option – a VIP Media Box where we could rest our weary selves and really enjoy the show. As Burton Cummings said ” It looks like when Vancouver throws a party, the whole world comes” and the crowd roared with approval.
We didn’t feel at all tired anymore as we made our way through the crowded streets to the Canada Line where more blue coated volunteers greeted us with complementary hot chocolate, there were some very orderly lineups to get on the trains and lots of happy faces – strangers talking to strangers all over the streets. Word is that The Canada Line alone is managing over 250,000 people an hour. It will be a terrific legacy for the city after it is all over.