Forgive us for the large buffet of tasty offerings just prior to Thanksgiving, but we’ve had so much to share today. Me? I was fortunate to have a real hottie come to my city tonight.
The Olympic Torch Relay made its historic stop in Fredericton, New Brunswick tonight – practically in my backyard. So my little guy and I checked it out while Olympic-Cynic Mr. Bee stayed home with a tired Baby Bee (she’d had a big day – kindergarten orientation. You can expect I’ll be a basket case come September.)
The last time the Olympic Flame made it through our province was during the 1988 Calgary Winter Games – you know, that era before grunge, the San Jose Sharks, and Coke-sponsored relay runners.
That’s our beloved Marianne Limpert getting ready to bring the Olympic Flame to the big community party. She won silver for Canada in the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta in the womens’ 200 metre individual medley.
Watching Marianne sprint through the crowd, carrying the flame that has crossed oceans to be in our city, knowing that this very flame will be making its way across our beautiful country to light up the night for just over two weeks in Vancouver…well, it was the thrill of a lifetime. I was so glad my son was there to share that moment.
We just missed the lighting of the cauldron, as we were too busy trying to make our way through the crowds to get to a good vantage point where we could see the stage set up in the city square. It was an impressive setup – great sound, beautiful visuals, and excellent music from local artists. The organizers deserve props for their impressive work!
We found a spot to watch just as it was time to sing the national anthem. I admit I’m rather subdued in my patriotism (it’s the Canadian way, as you may have heard…) But when we joined the sea of humanity in our city’s square to sing “O Canada” in that damp, dark evening lit by the Olympic cauldron, with my hands on my firstborn’s little shoulders, my eyes filled with tears.
We spent the rest of our time tracking down my girlfriends in the massive crowd (what did the world do before texting, by the way? I need to remember…), snapping up pictures and taking in the entertainment and a cool video promoting the Games featuring *gasp* Trevor Linden and Steve Nash.
A note of thanks to the relay runners: there was one older gentleman in particular who was likely bombarded with photo requests all evening – including one from me. But he very kindly posed with his extinguished torch and my beaming son. Truly the thrill of a lifetime for my kid (so far).
It’s easy to feel cynical about the Olympics, and I’d be lying if I said that rampant commercialism wasn’t a little bit annoying (note to sponsors: if we want to live green, we might want to start by not giving out all these disposable souvenirs. You know, like RBC Thundersticks?) That being said, no amount of irritating marketing can snuff out the wonderful spirit of community that emerged tonight. For that, I thank the IOC.
If you get a chance, Canadian Ladies… readers, be sure to check out the Olympic Torch Relay in your community. You won’t regret it! Follow the Flame to the Games here.