Tuesday, February 08, 2011

2010 Olympic Memories, Part 3

Today I'm sharing some unexpected moments of the Games.

1. Michael Buble's "deer in the headlights" moment: During part of the closing ceremonies, Michael Buble wrapped up his musical tribute to Canada, riding atop a giant motorized RCMP stetson.

As the number ended, he rolled down the vom and onto Ring Road. He was buckled in and I think he fully expected to just keep rolling right into the airlock and out of the building. Instead, he came to a full stop in Ring Road and then spent several minutes at a standstill.

No one was expecting this and when people realized "Hey! That's Michael Buble!" they started snapping photos. It was dark down in Ring Road, so all you saw was a ton of flashes going off. He was stuck there with no way to get down and nowhere to go till the airlock opened, which eventually it did and away he went!

2. Crossing paths with Nancy Green-Raine: One day I spent part of the day on the outer concourse, using a bullhorn to direct spectators in both French and English. Sometimes people would come up and ask questions. At one point, I hear someone saying to me "I have tickets for Gate A. Can I enter at Gate H?"

Before I even turned to look and see who it was, I knew it was a VIP, as Gate A was ticketed as a VIP entrance. I turned and there's Nancy Green-Raine, former Olympian, senator of Canada and Olympic Ambassador for the 2010 Vancouver games! So I said the first thing that popped into my head. "You're Nancy Green! You can go in by any gate you want!" (Which was true.) Followed by "It's lovely to see you." She smiled, said thank you and off she went.

For years, I've driven past Nancy Green Park in BC interior but I never thought I would come face to face with the woman for whom that park is named. It was pretty cool!

3. Poignant Thank Yous: About 3 or 4 days into the Olympics, I was out at Spanish Banks with my husband and Indy. We'd gone to the dog beach there so Indy could have a swim before I had to head off for my shift. I was in uniform and was standing on the beach throwing Indy's water Kong for him when this couple came up to me.

I thought they were going to ask me about my dog, because that's what usually happens when we're out with him, but instead they asked me where I was volunteering. I explained my role to them and then they thanked me profusely for the job that I and my fellow volunteers were doing. It was the beginning of the outpouring of goodwill towards the Blue Jackets and I was very surprised by it.

After that point, people seemed to continuously want to express their gratitude for the the job we were doing. It was very encouraging, especially when we were feeling tired or a bit stressed. In those moments, out of nowhere, someone would come along and encourage us with words of kindness and gratitude.

During the Closing Ceremonies when I was working to seat the teams I was responsible for, the US team was trooping up the stairs. It's the largest team of athletes, so we had to move quickly to get them seated. (If you don't, they bunch up on the field which not only looks bad on TV, but sets the broadcast behind schedule.)

I was on the stairs, working with my teammates Grace and Jayme, doing our best to get every one of the 103 Americans seated when I felt a tug on my sleeve. I swung around, thinking something's wrong and saw that one of the men from Team USA has a hand-lettered sign on a piece of cardboard. It says "Thank you Canada!" and he pointed to me and then pointed to the sign. I about lost it.

I can't tell you how sweet that moment was, just to know that the Athletes were happy and thankful for the Olympic experience they'd had and that we (and I!) had made that possible. It was such a humbling moment and it brought tears to my eyes. After they were seated and we got the Canadian team in their seats, I looked around and saw more of these signs. It felt really good to know our mission had indeed been accomplished.

1 comment:

I need orange said...

Tears in my eyes, too.

Good work, all.