I ended up going to Vancouver this weekend. It was grey and overcast, misting here and there, so the crowds weren’t as huge as they could have been.
I loved walking around downtown Vancouver and seeing clusters of people around televisions in storefronts. At one point, we passed the Bell Pavilion and there were about 25 people standing outside watching the Gold Medal game for Women’s Curling. Canada scored a point and the crowed erupted.
I was outside watching the big screen with many others as Canada’s men beat the Slovaks and advance with the gold medal game. The skytrain stations were nuts – all you needed to do was yell “Go Canada” and the place would erupt.
This afternoon, I had symphony tickets for a concert that began before the Gold Medal Men’s Hockey game was over. I was late – I watched until the end of regulation time and decided I couldn’t deal with overtime so I went to the concert. At the intermission, an usher whispered to one person that Canada had won and soon everyone was clapping. I checked my phone, and sure enough, a text message: “Crosby scored in OT. We won.”
After intermission, the conductor walked on stage and, before he had even reached his podium to introduce the next piece, the percussion began to play. Soon the entire 40-piece symphony was standing and playing O Canada. The audience stood and sang along. Leaving the theatre, suddenly there were people on streets that had previously been empty. Car horns were honking and people were waving flags and shouting.
Suddenly, a country that is proud, but reserved and quiet, is not ashamed to show their pride in a real, in-your-face sort of way. Any statistic that can be shown to promote Canada and exclaim our brilliance has been promoted by CTV and other news. Canadians have taken to the streets en masse proclaiming their pride in their athletes and their countries. Humble national pride? No, now we are a loud and proud country. And we rule the hockey rink.