Monday, February 8, 2010

Guest Post by Andrea Kay - 2010VanFan

Last month I asked Andrea if she would write a guest post for my blog. She lives in Vancouver and is absorbing and blogging about everything to do with the Olympics. I love reading her blog because I get to find out how the city is getting ready to welcome the world. She is one of the many wonderful people I have met so far. I am especially happy to connect with someone who loves the Olympics as much as I do.  Here is her post.  Thank you Andrea.

Welcome World!
My name is Andrea, I live in Vancouver and write a daily blog about the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games called Quite a while ago Christina asked me to write a guest post for her blog giving a Vancouver perspective to her eastern-based readers and I have been meaning to write this for a while. Why did it take me so long? Mostly because I wasn't entirely sure what to write about but I certainly am now. I'm going to tell you about some of the people that have made my Olympic experience really wonderful so far. Honestly, I haven't even met some of these people in person yet, including Christina. However I know that we will be good friends. That is what Vancouver 2010 is creating friendships between people that had no other reason to meet.
Out east there is Christina, working hard on her blog, sharing her excitement and experiences (I'm still very envious of her Torch Relay ride-along!). Hardeep from Cold-FX, who works tirelessly to create trivia questions and award prizes to fans across the nation. Michael in Ottawa is a keen fan and there are many more. There is Joyce from Scotland. She is a blogger as well and has actually taken time off of work to travel to Vancouver 2010 to volunteer in Whistler. Beau has come from Seattle to volunteer as well; Justin from Tacoma is up to work with the Olympic Family. Even within Greater Vancouver I have connected with and met so many people that I would never have had a reason to interact with before: Jenn, Rachael, Dave, Kelly, Matt, Jordan, Daryl, Catrina, Carlin, Nancy, James, Paul, Frank, Rob, Bob, Merritt, Andrew, Patti, Carol, George... oh my gosh this is reading like a poorly put together Oscar winner's thank you list (and it feels like the music is coming up)! I guess I'm trying to say that I've met many, many more wonderful people than I could ever hope to name, all in one list, with confidence that I haven't missed someone.
The Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games have transformed the host cities and resorts (province... nation...) not just physically, with new buildings, roads and trains, the change occurring is emotional and complex. People from the region, the country and the world are coming together to build, support and celebrate, not just the athletes and the athletic events that are the heart of the event, but also the cultural events, the friendships and hope. While Vancouver 2010 cannot solve all of the world’s problems it has had positive impacts on the cities and towns involved and I believe it will be a lasting and enduring positive impact. I know that when someone mentions 2010 a smile will come to my face and I will think about all of the people that came into my life because of it.

If you are standing in line waiting to get into an event, start talking to the people around you. At that point you all have something in common and that is a rare enough thing in today's world. Heck, even just walking down the street you're likely to meet people that you can have fabulous conversations with. You do not even have to be in Vancouver or Whistler to experience the friendships that Vancouver 2010 can create. Send a comment or email to a blogger or a newspaper. Try to learn something about athletes that may be attending from the area where you live and send them your support. All you have to do is reach out a hand, there are lots of us that are happy to take hold and welcome you to the excitement that is building and share with you the events as they unfold!
Thank you to all of my new friends. Hello to those looking to be a part of this, I'm happy to have you along. And as a resident and fan of Vancouver - Welcome World! We're ready for you!

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