The Olympic torch entered Vancouver proper today and the excitement throughout the day was palpable. Just after the noon hour, the torch came along Willingdon, passing by the EA campus. It looked like most of the studio were out there to see it come by. I timed it pretty good with two other co-workers as we waited less than five minutes to see it go by. The torch bearer ran right by me. I feel pretty lucky to have seen it twice in less than a three days.
Once I got back to my desk, I continued to watch the torch relay via live web cam. It was amazing seeing the large crowds that came out to watch the torch go by. I felt sorry for the runners who had to navigate the steep hill up Willingdon towards Metrotown. If it wasn’t for my dentist appointment, I would have been able to watch Canuck legend Trevor Linden carry the torch along Main Street. Instead, I had to settle for the video above which I found later.
In the early evening, I watched as the torch made its way out of UBC in rainy, wet weather. It was slightly surreal watching the torch being handed off on campus streets and walkways that I myself walked along so many times before, in very similar rainy conditions. Even though it was wet and cold outside, the crowds still turned out in force. I was constantly surprised at the large number of people who were waiting for just a glimpse of the torch.
As the torch made its way across the Burrard Street bridge, the sheer number of people made it impossible for the web cam van to continue. It had to stop and just let the torch go on without it. Unfortunately, that meant I couldn’t see Michael Buble carry the flame towards Yaletown.
Today is the last day of the torch relay. The Olympics will officially begin this evening. There have been so many times in the past when I used to think about when the Games would start and my prevailing thought would be, “that is a long time away”. It is no longer a long time away. Despite what you might think of the Olympics being in Vancouver, the reality is that there’s no stopping it now. Someone will light the cauldron tonight and that will signal the beginning of the Games. The whole world will be watching Vancouver and Canada as a whole for the next two weeks. We might as well make the best of it. Let’s cheer on our athletes. Let’s show the world what Vancouver has to offer. You might even want to try to have some fun in the next two weeks.
I hope to see everyone around town in the next little while!