The first half month or so was spent completely submerged in Canucks Mania. I’ve never seen the city as a collective so excited and unified as we were during the Playoff Run; that includes the Olympics last year. Game days were literally full day events, with activities and street parties beginning mid-morning and continuing until long after the final buzzer. The place to be was the now infamous Georgia Street, and that’s where I was for several games, watching with 100 000 of my closest friends. I was even lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend three games. First, I went to games 1 and 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Sharks. I have never heard a stadium quite as loud as when Kevin Bieksa scored to end the series in overtime of game 5! But perhaps the best and eventual most nauseating moment was when my dad told me that we did indeed have tickets to game 7 of the final round. The riots that ensued in the aftermath were both disgusting and shameful. We managed to get home without getting caught in the chaos, but a lot of friends were not as lucky. They all say they have never witnessed anything like it. The most unfortunate part of the riot is the fact that it is all anyone seems to remember about this season, as well as this city. The reality is that it was only a small percentage of Vancouverites who participated. It certainly does not reflect the city as a whole, who have since tried their best to fix this perception. The next day, 10 000 people showed up downtown to help clean up the mess left behind by the rioters.
Riots are nothing new to the world of sport; they have been around as long as human beings have existed. And they are nothing new to the world of sport. It is an animal mentality; the actions of a few within a crowd ignite the rest, and it is this chain reaction that leads to violence. This cleanup effort is what makes Vancouver unique, and will hopefully become the city’s lasting legacy.
Since, all I ever hear is how much of a letdown the Canucks season was. I find this extremely sad. It seems like it was easy for everyone to forget what an amazing season this was. The team had its best season in history, won numerous awards and trophies, inspired an entire city to unite and game up only one game short from winning it all. Yet all that is focused on is the fact that they came up one short. I find that this is common in sport; the accomplishments made along the way are often lost if the end result is not perfect. It makes me wonder what is more important, the journey or the final destination? I hope in time it will become clearer to the world that it was an amazing journey, one that should be celebrated despite the end game.
Back to my summer so far! I’ve been working down at the Vancouver Aquarium, one of my favourite places in the city. It’s right in Stanley Park, so after work I’ve been able to enjoy its beauty. Every day, I bring my roller blades and do the Seawall Loop before going home. At the end of June, my friend Kaitlyn came to visit from Ontario, and we had tons of fun being tourists for the week! Two more friends are coming out in two weeks, and we’re planning on going zip lining, something I’ve never done before. Since the sun has come out, I’ve also been enjoying the ocean and the beaches, as well as the hiking trails. Vancouver is great for outdoor workouts, so I’ve been doing the majority of my training outside. I’ve been working extremely hard on my flexibility in particular; my stretching regime takes over an hour to do. I’ve also been playing ball hockey, which is a ton of fun. We’re in the midst of playoffs right now, and will hopefully qualify for Provincials next weekend.
I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the summer, and am of course excited for the upcoming season!