(Sorry, I couldn’t resist… hard to believe press hacks haven’t already used it. Oh, but wait… silly me; of course they have.)
So anyway, now in the wake of the celebratory wave of justifiably prideful ebullience flowing from the record number of gold medals won by triumphant Canadian athletes in this Olympics® on Canadian soil (i.e., infinitely more than the previous total of — none!) climaxing in the storybook comeback by the heroic Canadian hockey team battling their way though steely foreign powers to finally defeat our most formidably vexing adversary and psychological nemesis on planet Earth, the question now is: how will the Olympic® event be viewed in retrospect?
After we collectively sober up from this fantastic mid-winter bash — one that certainly cheered up what’s otherwise a pretty dismal and dourly depressing month of the year, at least around these parts, it has to be said — will we be happy that we were the “winningest” country in Olympic® history? And will that marvelous athletic achievement alone be sufficient to justify the enormous public expenditures devoted to staging the games? Or perhaps will we be subjected to some kind of gloomy post-hoc reality-check and massive guilt-trip wherein the pitiful naysayers and disaffected interest groups angrily parade their litany of bitter grievances that were dismissively regarded by the media and otherwise effectively silenced by the government throughout the event?
Speaking personally, I thought the games were a tremendous success. From this nearby vantage, I enjoyed watching them immensely and took great pleasure in seeing our little corner of the world highlighted to a global audience in generally favorable terms. The ironic factor of hosting a winter sporting event in the midst of rain, fog and cherry blossoms unseasonably blooming in the sunny intervals of clear blue skies was… well, quite articulate of the daily contradictions we gloriously experience here on the west coast. Moreover, it was heartening to see thousands turned out in red and white gear, freely expressing their enormous pride and patriotic love of this country. For a people that are otherwise more naturally reticent and traditionally reserved when it comes to overtly demonstrating their positive sentiments about our home and native land, it was a joyous, emotionally uplifting experience to witness.
But unfortunately, now comes the final reckoning… When everything is tabulated, did the games make money and was the economic impact to the region in general a positive one? That’s a key consideration these days when we’re all struggling to climb out of the Great Recession. Will those vagrants and other homeless people who were temporarily displaced be “made whole” again, relatively speaking? Will the glorious excesses of the “bread and circuses” games eventually be taken out of the hide of those least able to afford stringent cutbacks the “Liberal” government has planned to tighten their belt now the crowds have disbursed and the shiny-happy-fun has subsided.
And so we wonder what the aftermath will be and how the event will be remembered… Given the achievement of our athletes, certainly not in infamy or disgrace, but pending the economic detritus and inevitable clusterfuck of financial scandal that will eventually surface (or not) over the coming months, judgment has to be muted and somewhat reserved for the time being.