It’s the day after the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and many people I know seem to have a collective Olympics hangover.  When you’ve had a party going on for two and a half weeks, with so many options for fun and frenzy, nightly parties, sporting events and fireworks, it’s not surprising if you feel like you want the party to go on forever.  As I have two young children going out and about with me – baby twins in a double stroller no less – options were limited during the Olympics.  We didn’t venture far from the downtown core and we couldn’t attend sporting events.  We even had to turn down tickets to attend the dress rehearsal for the opening ceremonies.  The thought of braving the long lineups for security checks and waiting hours before events started kept us away.

Despite the constraints, we enjoyed many walks around the downtown core visiting venues and Olympic areas between the Athlete’s Village, Sochi House, Concord Place, the Roundhouse, David Lam Park, Yaletown and the downtown core around Robson Square.  During our walks it was fun to wear Olympic gear. We even put Olympic mitts on the babies.  Since I like to take photographs, it was a great opportunity to take photos of people and places.  Ironically since so many people were bouncing about in colourful costumes, and since I was often in charge of the stroller or keeping one eye on the children, it was challenging to photograph everything that was interesting.

I also enjoyed the fact that so many people were visiting Vancouver from the Lower Mainland, BC, Canada and other countries. Before the Olympics we were warned that there would be large crowds.  It’s true that the volume of foot traffic increased, but the size of the crowds was never overwhelming and rarely reached the size of crowds one encounters in downtown Tokyo on a weekend.  The busiest walk was when we ventured downtown along with 150,000 other people.  One well known broadcaster saw my husband pushing the stroller through these crowds and commented that she couldn’t imagine being downtown with her stroller. In fact it looked like she had left her child at home with someone else.

Like many people I was impressed by the national pride that Canadians wore on their sleeves as they walked around.  These Olympics were a great opportunity for British Columbians and Canadians to show the country and the world that we aren’t conservative all the time and we don’t always apologize for being ourselves.  We can be loud and shout our merits from the roof tops – quite literally – if we want.

So the Olympic are over, but the ParaOlympics are around the corner.  We’ll keep the warmth of the Olympic flame burning in our hearts as we wait for the Winter Olympics part 2!

The Daily Dish is a space where I can document life in Vancouver as a mother, educator and every day citizen. There certainly is much to talk about in this vibrant urban centre, so you’re invited to return for the daily dish on what’s what in this BC family.

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Pamela Chan/Editor, BCfamily.ca

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