Last Day of Olympic Fever

Coming to work yesterday felt like January 2, when sitting at my desk for the first time in the New Year, it is immanently clear that the holidays are officially over and it’s back to business as usual. That’s exactly what it felt like to me, traveling through streets that just a short time ago were crowded with revelers and throngs of people high-fiving strangers and yelling things at the top of their lungs like “Canada rules” and “Canada is Golden.” Today life in Vancouver is continuing to return to normal: tents are coming down; pavilions are being dismantled; streets blocked off, designated as “Pedestrian Only” have been reclaimed by cars.

But on Sunday, what with the hockey game between the US and Canada; the Olympic Games Closing Ceremonies; and the last day of scheduled Olympic-related activities, a group of us from Cymax wanted to make the most of it. There was so much too see! Plus it was imperative to be somewhere within viewing distance of a big TV screen to watch THE game.

Before the game, we headed down toward the water and Coal Harbour. While most of the group had already seen the Olympic cauldron, I hadn’t. We couldn’t even get close – not enough for a picture but we did get a good shot of the rings out in the harbour. (Obviously this picture was taken before Canada’s win, since the rings are not gold!)

At the end of the evening, when we visited the waterfront for a last look at the Olympic flame before heading home, several of us managed to get some good shots of it.

Earlier in the week, I had heard some of my coworkers talking about the million dollar coin on display at the Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion. This was the place where you could also see the Bronze, Silver and Gold medals for both the Olympics and the Paralympics. I just had to go and two other people who were just as enthusiastic convinced the others. So, after the hockey game, we walked over to the Mint Pavilion. However, when we arrived at Granville and Seymour, the line was quite long and we were told that there would be a five-hour wait. A couple of the ladies waited to bail. But I was so close – I really wanted to see this coin worth a million bucks! We came up with a game plan – half of the group would go and get something to eat and then come back and stand in line while the others went for a quick bite. The plan worked out just fine – while we had to wait awhile longer to actually see the medals, we were inside the building just under two and a half hours.

We were permitted to pick up the medals – everyone of course wanted to touch the gold. They were quite heavy, each one a unique work of art; no two are the same. We were allowed only 10 minutes in the medals room before we were asked to leave. They did give a two-minute warning, though, and some of us took the opportunity to snap one last picture of an Olympic medal up close and personal.

Upon entering into the room with the million dollar coin, it did take my breath away. As far as I was concerned, it was worth the wait in line. The coin, which was made with 100kg of gold and cast in 2007, is now worth 3.2 million dollars. Try putting that in your pocket or change purse!

There are two sides to every coin. This is the flip side of the million dollar gold coin – heads or tails?

Back out on the streets of Vancouver, the atmosphere was charged and electric. The shouting hadn’t died down any. Usually I’m not very fond of crowds, but I didn’t mind Sunday night. Watching a big black truck packed with revelers turn onto Burrard St. flying 14 Canadian flags, obviously one for each gold medal that we won, it became perfectly clear that Vancouverites sure know how to throw a party.

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