We were at home watching the Canada - USA hockey game as it went into overtime. As soon as Crosby put in the winning goal, cheering erupted. It went on for more than five minutes straight. I ran to the window to look outside because surely there must be a rowdy crowd assembled somewhere nearby! What else could make so much noise? But no. Our quiet street was as empty as usual. People were yelling so loudly you could hear the sound straight from the living rooms of all the nearby houses and apartments. That's something I don't think will ever happen in Vancouver again.
Here's a subdued E after the USA tied the game.
And then here's a glimpse of the crazy joyful madness that happened after the Canada win. We decided we needed to go out and see what was happening downtown. People flocked to the streets to join in the celebration. Believe me, the party went all night long.
I've never gotten so many high-fives from strangers: seniors, college kids, parents with babies, teenagers, toddlers. I've never heard Canadians break spontaneously into the national anthem before these Olympics. It was a celebration that everyone joined in. We met a few Americans who admirably gave out high-fives and congratulated passers by with "good game".
And for once, the weather agreed. The sun broke out just as the hockey game ended.
For my non-Canadian friends, it might be baffling why this was all quite so wonderful.Canadians are not generally outwardly patriotic. We never even owned a flag before the Olympics, and I bet a lot of the people in the streets didn't either. I've never experienced such a thing before; the feeling of being part of a larger whole nation and international community. That was what was amazing.
I hope everyone who came here from anywhere else in the world, was also swept up in the good energy and cheerfulness. I think I've become an Olympics junkie for life now. E's already talking about going to Sochi Russia for the next Winter Olympics... we'll have to see about that!