Because we had all of Sunday sans commitments since our skiing event up at Whistler was postponed, I thought it would be fun to try to go to the Victory Ceremony that night. At the ceremonies (one’s in Vancouver; one’s in Whistler), medals are awarded for the most recent events. It took some wrangling, but we scored ourselves a couple of nosebleed seats for the evening at BC Place.
I didn’t know exactly what to expect but immediately was excited to find out that the first presentation was for the men’s speed skating 1,500 meters race, which Shani Davis took silver in. The three top finishers were displayed racing on the big screen as the crowd erupted, then the athletes marched out, took their place on the podium, and were presented their medals. After the flags were raised and the gold medalist’s national anthem played, silver and gold confetti was shot out of two cannons (my favorite part!), and the medalists posed for photos.
As the ceremony in Whistler was held simultaneously, we toggled back and forth live on the big screens between the two all night, getting to see eight presentations in all. I was completely ecstatic once I realized I’d be watching Apolo Anton Ohno (possibly my favorite winter athlete) get his bronze in the short track speed skating 1,000 meters, his seventh career Olympic medal. We also got to watch Bode Miller presented with his gold for the super combined, and although the crowd was primarily Canadian, there were plenty of us singing along to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
After the medal ceremonies finished, there were two concerts, one from Trooper, a popular Canadian band celebrating their 35th anniversary this year, and Loverboy of “Working for the Weekend” fame (whom my mom was pretty pumped to see). The show was complete with a light display and fireworks.
Of all the things I saw and did while in Vancouver — walking through town, attending sporting events, seeing the cauldron — nothing made me feel more like I was at the Olympics than the Victory Ceremony.
– Haley Shapley