The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi ended on Sunday – Monday already here in Sakhalin. My two weeks plus of TV addiction are over.
With the time zone differences between here and Sochi, we ended up watching replays of most events. In some ways, it is good to already know that your team won the hockey game, when the opposition is swarming like angry bees around your goal. Funny how I was still on the edge of my seat though, even when I knew they wouldn’t score. We did see the final period of the US – Canada game live, and I spent the whole time with my heart in my mouth, urging my team to get just one more goal for insurance, even though I had seen in the ladies game just how small a 2-0 lead can be. Luckily, they pulled it off, and we went on to win gold in both men’s and ladies’ hockey.
And, of course, I can’t forget to mention how well our curlers did. To a lot of the world, this looks like a very strange sport, but to those of us that grew up in Canada, and especially on the prairies, it is as familiar as snow drifts and wind. In every small prairie town, the winter gathering place was the curling rink, where farmers who were busy on the land during the rest of the year could gather, visit, and while away the hours together. We grew up with curling brooms (they used to really be straw brooms) in our hands, sliders on our shoes, and playing a game that could be played by young and old alike. The Scots like to say they invented the game, but maybe the Canadians have perfected it??????
It was a challenge to see the closing ceremonies, especially since I had a busy day planned. and it was extraordinary. I am totally amazed at what they did with projection – how all of a sudden there were dry paths across the stormy seas so the athletes could walk out.
No more talk – here are a few shots of this spell-binding ceremony. They aren’t great photos, but give you an idea of the colour and imagination…… and I hope, will inspire you to watch the closing ceremonies if you have the chance.
There were tears on the cheeks of many of the spectators – including me.
The games are over. They went off well, with no terrorist attacks, with good sportsmanship and incredible talent.
I wonder if all our politicians were required to be athletes, would the world be a safer and happier place?