Olympic flame still burns

It’s hard to fathom that it was a year ago that the world arrived on B.C.’s doorstep for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

It’s hard to fathom that it was a year ago that the world arrived on B.C.’s doorstep for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

And while the Games were a resounding success – immediately after the torch was extinguished, and admittedly without the benefit of a big-picture view, the 17-day celebration was already being billed as the most successful Olympiad in history.

And for Canadians, the Games didn’t go too badly either, as our athletes won gold medals in record numbers – beginning with mogul skier Alex Bilodeau and ending with Sidney Crosby’s goal in hockey.

The Olympic experience brought people together like nothing that had come before, nor will likely occur in the future. So where are we, now 12 months removed?

Well, the costs have come in, for one thing – estimated at $6.5-billion – and the Vancouver athletes’ village, which was turned into condominiums post-Olympics, failed to sell as quickly as some thought, with Vancouver taxpayers footing the interest payments – millions of dollars – in the interim.

And without dismissing those factors out of hand – never a good idea, when that much money is being discussed – the fact remains that the Games have left a legacy that transcends dollars and cents.

We still remember Jon Montgomery’s march through the streets of Whistler, still recognize the names and faces of Olympic champions when they appear on television. In short, we still care.

Are we always this happy? No, but perhaps we should be.

Maybe that, in and of itself, is the true legacy – the lesson – of these costly Games.

— Peace Arch News