Seriously, the TV screen doesn't do it any justice at all. You really have to BE THERE to feel the spirit. I watched a bit of the games on TV today and I felt sort of lame, as compared to the few experiences I had actually being there myself. I was lucky enough to be chosen as a torchbearer, and my part was in the relay as the torch was on its way to the CN Centre for the Opening Ceremonies. We had an orientation at the YMCA, I got a neat windbreaker and they got us all (thirty-something of us!) on the bus. We rode that bus for a few hours as it slowly crept its way to the CN Centre- we took turns going outside and carrying the torch for a few blocks.
The energy in that bus was absolutely amazing- we hardly knew each other, and yet we cheered like mad every time one of us got off the bus or got back on, and... It was inspiring, and something I'm likely to never forget.
After that, I had the chance to go to the Opening Ceremonies. It was truly amazing and really well organized. I was especially impressed by the caliber of the performers at the event. Watching the athletes come in, the speakers give their addresses, and just seeing firsthand all these people that came such a long way for this- it really struck a chord with me. I've only ever seen Opening Ceremonies of events like these on TV before, and experiencing it firsthand was- at the risk of sounding cliche- magical.
The next day, I jumped straight into volunteering- I was a minor official for Target Shooting, and I had a great time. Over the week I helped out there, I got to know the other officials, the athletes, the parents, the coaches, and the other volunteers pretty well and by the end of it, I decided this was one of the best volunteer experiences I've had. Also, I got a lot of pin-trading done, which, if you haven't heard yet, is pretty much the most competitive non-sport in the Games!
Basically what I'm trying to say with this is, if you can, it really is worth it to check out some of these last events for these Games firsthand. Aside from hockey and the Ceremonies, the price at the door is around 5-10 dollars, which is great.
I had no idea, going into these two weeks, that I'd be having such a great time, but here I am. I'm proud of Prince George for hosting it so well, and I'm proud to be a part of it. I just know that people are going away from this, travelling back to their respective provinces, and going, "wow, that was amazing." People who plan the 2019 Games in Red Deer are here and they're going, "wow, we want ours to be like this."
We're creating a legacy. Be part of it!