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Four or five years ago I was a fan of the Olympic Games and then I watched the controversial preparations unfold in the city I was born in – Vancouver. The numbers, dollars signs and price tags juxtaposed next to a sidewalk memorial for a homeless woman who accidently set herself ablaze as she tried to stay warm last winter, the cardboard sleeping mats that line storefront doorways on my way home and the young girl obviously suffering from mental illness that ran up behind me one day downtown and punched me in the back.

I have increasingly become jaded by an event that leaves the politicians grinning ear to ear and the everyday folk cursing them under our breathes. Over the past few years the Games have become synonymous with traffic jams, wasted money, unavailable tickets, outrageously priced events, the elite class, etc., etc.

And while many of these grudges may ring true, I find I am slowly swinging back to the other side…not so far as to once again become an Olympic supporter, but perhaps a Vancouverite and proud Canadian wanting and hoping to enjoy two weeks of incredible insanity alongside hundreds of thousands of people from around the world.

2010 Olympics - Red Mittens

I find myself wanting a pair of red mittens (to me a symbol of national pride and sportsmanship), scoping out the planned festivities, circling the free events and anticipating that I might just want to book off some vacation time because come February I know that I will much prefer to stand on a street corner chatting with some bloke from Timbuktu dressed in the national colours of Timbuktu than be holed up in my window-less office.

Homelessness, poverty, economic woes, budget cuts, shitty transportation and self-benefiting elite classes will continue to exist either way. And like “they” say, the money has been spent and the Games are coming, so is it really so terrible if I enjoy them?

Cypress Mountain

Of course my tune has changed slightly this week after winning an opportunity through my work to purchase two tickets to the Gold Medal Ladies Snowboard Cross event on Cypress Mountain…but I just won the opportunity to buy them. They weren’t free, and I will be dining on Mr. Noodles and grilled cheese sandwiches until my next pay-day.

So I will trek up the mountain in February, past numerous security checkpoints I am sure, and mutter under my breathe all the way to the top and then I will quickly forget about how much of a pain the Olympic Games are as I drink, cheer and likely lose my voice over some gals in gear that I don’t know and will likely never meet, as they rip down a course made of dollar signs… and I will really and truly classify that very moment as one of the many highlights of my life and for a split second the whole thing will seem just perfect.

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