“The telling of our humble Canadian story”

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Smiley N. Pool : Chronicle Olympic Bureau

This actually happened.

Whether you consider the 2010 Winter Olympic games from Vancouver a tragedy, a failure, an inspiration or just a distraction from all your usual programming, after two weeks of Olympic coverage what will be Vancouver’s legacy?

Beijing greeted us with a big, elaborate vision of a brave new world, just as we ourselves were on the precipice of a potential sweeping change in our own country. Two years later, things are just a lot more … well, bleak. Some of us, weary of lots of “hopey changey” bombast and spectacle, just can’t be moved by CGI whales swimming across the floor. Or dudes with neck beards from YouTube reading slam poetry. Or post-apocalyptic tap dancers. Canada tried to portray itself as a country that stands at the front of the world, unafraid to take a leap into the future and lead the global society in the charge.

And, well? That’s just not the Canada we know. We, of course, being Americans, with our American point-of-view and, most importantly, our American broadcaster, NBC. Unfortunately, on this side of our friendly border, Vancouver’s legacy was beamed into our television machines with maddening delays, puzzling programming choices and an American-centric focus. The whole shebang was tinged with an ever-present sense of clumsiness that I feel had much more to do with Rockefeller Center than anything happening in British Columbia.

Now what of the closing ceremony? MUCH BETTER. Canada showcased its sense of humor, its rustic charms and its pride in even the most silly aspects of its culture.

So what happened? Here’s our recap:

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