As I write this, I’ve just returned from Vancouver where I got to attend part of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. This was my first time at the Olympics and, as a fan of both sports and travel, I was definitely in the right place. Not only was it great watching the world’s best athletes compete but, with so many world travelers converging on one place, the Olympic Games are as much about the fellowship of travel as they are about the spirit of competition.
Of course, I had always heard about the atmosphere of camaraderie at the games but, until I was there in person, I had no idea how inspiring it would be to see so many people from all over the world interacting with each other. Everywhere I went, it seemed like people were either learning about Vancouver and its indigenous First Nations tribes or sharing their own culture and history with others. Furthermore, just as travelers everywhere do when they cross paths with fellow travelers, everyone had news to share and questions to ask, which only added to the spirit of cooperation.
On a macro level, there is no doubt these games are providing Vancouver with a huge boost, both economically and in terms of exposure. Indeed, Vancouverites have a lot to be proud of — and with these games they are taking advantage of their chance to shine. Other cities that are Olympic hopefuls are taking notice, too. During my visit, I had the opportunity to discuss the games at length with representatives of Bavaria’s tourist organization for a future story. Munich is bidding to host the 2018 Winter Games, hoping its Alpine winter wonderland will have a chance to shine just as Vancouver has.
“It’s a great opportunity,” one Bavarian official told me. “It’s the world at its best, in every way. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”