Ah, the Olympic Games…where the world unites to celebrate the World’s finest athletes. It is the only celebratory event (that I can recall) where the world takes in a day or two of athletic competition.
As our world of communication increases with Facebook, Twitter, and Online Media Blogs, I have witnessed much scrutiny about the expenses incurred, by hosting the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, during this time of recession. Did we really have to spend so much for the glitz and glamour of a 3 hour opening ceremony? Was it necessary to transport so much snow to the Olympic site of Cypress Mountain? Is it necessary for Vancouver to raise the prices of food, beer and cheer for the next two weeks? The simple answer to this is an astounding YES! We took on the responsibility to hold this event and we must follow through with our promises to welcome our visitor’s and most of all honour our country and culture to the World.
At first, I was in total agreement with much of the population. However, I put some serious thought before writing this piece and contemplated challenging those who scowl at the very thought of this event. Is it just another reason to complain? I realized that passing the torch to Canada for the Olympic Games is no different than passing our daughter, to the man of her dreams, by hosting a lavish wedding. It’s all a show!
I remember in 1995, standing in the mirror of my parent’s home in the most beautiful white gown excited to marry my fiancé. After the day’s event and all the hoopla was over, we calculated how much it cost to invite one hundred and fifty of our closest friends and family. It was an astonishing $25,000 when all was said and done. What a show! So transitioning my wedding spectacle in monetary terms, it cost $166.00 per person for a 12 hour event. Of course, there is also the money and gifts given to us by each and every person who attended or the expenses incurred by our wedding party. I can imagine the total contributed towards my wedding was somewhere closer to $33,000. Fifteen years later, I can imagine this number being double!
So in short, putting the expense of the Olympics is much like our own personal stress of putting on a memorable event for our loved one. We need to do it, as it is our honour and choice to host it. Our cost per person, when divided by the World’s population (6,692,030,277), isn’t much greater than the per person cost attending a wedding honourably hosted by us. The world’s population are all invited to join us in person, via television, cell phone or the Internet, to celebrate their own country while their premium athlete’s are present in our great country.
Recession or not, I’m sure we’ll see plenty beautiful brides standing by the beautiful gardens and riverbanks of our city while the parents will be standing off to the side, with glowing smiles and empty pocketbooks. Say what you want, but I know of few people who would not go into debt to give our precious children an event to remember. Sometimes it just has to come out of our pocket to show our thanks to our friends, to our family, and even to our World for their support!