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Our fling with the Olympics’ bad boy almost over — whew!

February 24th, 2010 · 4 Comments

I think I speak for all of us when I say: It’s been a blast, but we need some sleep plus a couple of days where the most exciting thing that happens is getting a free shampoo sample in with the mail.

Although I know some of my harsher critics (as opposed to my quiet ones or my passive-aggressive ones) will start eye-rolling and muttering “girl” at this, I don’t recall going through a roller-coaster experience like this since my days of one-month (or one-day) affairs with Dangerous Boys in my 20s.

You know the trajectory: You avoid that bad boy because everyone in town has said he’s trouble. But, before you know it, you’re embroiled in a fling. And it’s tempestuous, up and down, you hate him, you love the excitement, you’re not getting any sleep, you feel as though you’ve been transported outside your normal life, every day you’re more hung over and more wired.

This is the same, but without the sex and with a lot more sharp blades.(Though I understand from single friends, excited about the invasion of our city by non-Canadian men who actually check out women and don’t have weird facial hair and jobs in “video-game testing,” that the first is a definite possibility.)

As I’ve run around doing some news coverage of protests and news conferences and urban-planning issues, doing some just walking around to see what everyone is so excited about downtown (apparently, just the sight of each other mostly), going to a couple of figure-skating practices, visiting the Downtown Eastside from time to time, passing time occasionally at the Robson Square media centre, watching a lot of television, and hanging out with all my new best friends on Twitter who care deeply about how much Johnny Weir was ripped off because the judges are scared of out-there gay figure skaters — it’s been an emotional and psychological adventure every day.

I’ve had my choice of how to connect to people: milling around in crowds on Sunday afternoons, hunkering down with deeply committed skate fans at 7 a.m. at the Pacific Coliseum, or communing with the world via Twitter, Facebook and Google as I simutaneously watch events on television and track conversations about them on my laptop.

Along the way, I’ve experienced the gamut from laughing out loud at some of the outrageous comments posted (“It looks like Evan didn’t leave any hair gel or bronzer for anyone else in Vancouver”) to getting all weepy when a whole stadium full of Canadians belted out O Canada for Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. (And I’m so hopeful that I’ll eventually learn all the words by the end of this.)

And the Games, as they’ve done for the last five years, also prompt a lot of soul-searching about the nature of mega-events and the people who run and promote them. I’m sure that some people who read this post or have listened to me on various radio programs might think I’ve succumbed to being a blithering Games booster. I’m not. Nor is anyone else who is currently enjoying themselves, but still has a brain.

There are many questions to ask and they will be. Just like most of us did wake up one day from those flings with bad boys and think: Wait a minute. Something’s not quite right here. I’ve got to get out.

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