We are more

Keeping with the post Olympic theme from the last post, it is essential to include the slam poet Shane Koyczan. I’m sure this poem didn’t make a pivotal difference, but along with everything else that went well for Canadians during the games, it is sure nice to take these words with us in memory.

The brilliance of Canadian slam poet Shane Koyczan:
We Are More

Define Canada.
You might say the home of The Rocket or The Great One
who inspired little 9’s and little number 99’s
But we’re more than hockey and fishing lines
off the rocky coast of the Maritimes
and some say what defines us is something as simple as
‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’
and as for “You’re Welcome” – well, we say that too
But we are more than genteel and civilized
we are an idea in the process of being realized
we are young
we are a culture strung together, then woven
into a tapestry
and the design is what makes us
more than the sum totals
of our history
we are an experiment going right for a change
with influences that range from ‘A’ to ‘Zed’
and yes, we say ‘zed’ instead of ‘zee’
we are the colors of Chinatown, the coffee of Little Italy
we dream so big
that there are some that would call our ambition
an industry
because we are vineyards
of good year after good year
we reforest what we clear
because we believe
in generations beyond our own
knowing now that so many of us have grown past what we used to be
we can stand here today
filled with all the hope people have
when they say things like,
‘Someday…’
because we are more than a laundry list of
things to do and places to see
more than hills to ski and countryside ponds to skate
we are the abandoned hesitation
of all those who can’t wait
we are first-rate greasy spoon diners and healthy-living cafes
a country
that is all the ways you choose to live
a nation
that can give you variety
because we are choices
we are millions upon millions of voices shouting
‘Keep exploring’
we are more
we are the surprise the world has in store for you
it’s true
Canada is the ‘What’ in ‘What’s New’
so don’t let your luggage define your travels, each life
unravels differently
and experiences are
what make up the colors of our tapestry
we are
The True North Strong and Free
and what’s more
is that we didn’t just say it –
we made it be

Leaving behind a thank-you note

Grant and Christine at Cypress Bowl

As we passed the first anniversary of the Vancouver/Whistler 2010 Olympic Games, we can’t help but look around the West Coast and be a little bit proud. We hosted a pretty good party here in Canada.

Being up at Cypress Bowl last weekend and enjoying the legacy of the games is just one of the many benefits.

It is a good thing that the cameras of the world are not here right now to see just how much snow we can really get in the Coastal Mountains!

One of the final reports that hit the news wire at the end of the Games was from Brian Williams of NBC. No more explanation is really required.

Enjoy the read!

LEAVING BEHIND A THANK-YOU NOTE

Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor

After tonight’s broadcast and after looting our hotel mini-bars, we’re going to try to brave the blizzard and fly east to home and hearth, and to do laundry well into next week.  Before we leave this thoroughly polite country, the polite thing to do is leave behind a thank-you note.

Thank you, Canada:

For being such good hosts.

For your unfailing courtesy.

For your (mostly) beautiful weather.

For scheduling no more than 60 percent of your float plane departures at the exact moment when I was trying to say something on television.

For not seeming to mind the occasional (or constant) good-natured mimicry of your accents.

For your unique TV commercials — for companies like Tim Hortons — which made us laugh and cry.

For securing this massive event without choking security, and without publicly displaying a single automatic weapon.

For having the best garment design and logo-wear of the games — you’ve made wearing your name a cool thing to do.

For the sportsmanship we saw most of your athletes display.

For not honking your horns. I didn’t hear one car horn in 15 days — which also means none of my fellow New Yorkers rented cars while visiting.

For making us aware of how many of you have been watching NBC all these years.

For having the good taste to have an anchorman named Brian Williams on your CTV network, who turns out to be such a nice guy.

For the body scans at the airport which make pat-downs and cavity searches unnecessary.

For designing those really cool LED Olympic rings in the harbor, which turned to gold when your athletes won one.

For always saying nice things about the United States…when you know we’re listening.

For sharing Joannie Rochette with us.

For reminding some of us we used to be a more civil society.

Mostly, for welcoming the world with such ease and making lasting friends with all of us.