The atmosphere, the buzz, the excitement. It’s in the air and all around the host city. In 2002, when Salt Lake City was the host city of the Winter Olympic Games, there was something magical about it all. The entire city was transformed into pretty much the absolute largest sports convention in the world, and it was happening in my backyard! For 16 days, the world comes together, despite it’s differences and gathers to compete in what is arguably the most prestigious sports award in the world.
Now the world stage is ready to light up the Vancouver skyline, and I can’t think of a more beautiful city to have host them. I had the privilege to work on the very first flight of the day from San Francisco to the Olympic Games today and you could really feel the electricity in the cabin as the passengers were set to begin the next chapter in world winter sporting competition. There were several athletes onboard who waited until the last minute to come to the Games as they finalized their last workouts, honing their laser-sharp talents for the entirety of mankind to behold. What a feeling that must be, to be a competitor in these most competitive of venues.
There was an older couple on the flight this morning wearing their leather USA jackets. This is their 10th Winter Olympics and those jackets we adorned with pins from all the various games they had attended. There was a young Korean family traveling with us who were there to inspire their two young daughters–perhaps one day they would be on the ice, winning their OWN gold Olympic medal!
Even though I will be on the road for most of the days of the Games this year, I will be running my SlingBox into overdrive this month, trying to keep my DVR from filling up too rapidly from all the events I want to watch. I remember having to work to Tokyo during the 2002 SLC Games and being forced to watch the coverage in Japan was an interesting experience. I was amazed at what events drew the attention of the Japanese, as opposed to an American audience, and it made me realize that with all the hundreds of different events that are offered, it’s good to know that there really is something for everybody.
To to all the world’s athletes: we salute you and wish you all the best in your endeavors to conquer gold! And to the spectators, both in Vancouver and around the world: Let’s watch and play together in a spirit of harmony and good sportsmanship.
I believe it truly defines our species as worth growing together as a single world! Cheers!