|The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games are over. The athletes have all returned home to bask in their well-deserved glory, that the media mistakenly thought belonged to them. Already, columnists are suggesting to us, (in most cases telling us), the defining moment of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, and beg the question; "what will be the legacy of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games?"
For me there is only one defining moment, and that simple selfless moment will undoubtedly be Vancouver and Canada's legacy. That moment being when Mellisa Hollingsworth cried during an interview after a victorious fifth place finish in women's skeleton.
She cried for all the parents that gave their children an opportunity to participate in an Olympic event; for friends and loved ones back home that embraced her as their own, despite a disappointing finish where she was expected to medal. She cried for the young Georgian Luger Nodar Kamaritashuili, who's life and Olympic dreams were tragically taken coming out of turn sixteen. Her tears were shared by those less fortunate, unable to participate in or attend such a prestigious event, but were content to share her journey in front of a television screen. When she cried, many did as well, including me. Her tears were sincere, almost unheard of in modern pro sports these days. Mellisa Hollingsworth's unselfish moment of honesty defines amateur sport, that which the Olympic Games was intended to promote. The modern Olympics, today's media, and society at large have forgotten why the Olympic Games began; replacing amateur sport with a quest for fame and fortune. Mellisa Hollingsworth has not forgotten why!
"Citius, Altius, Fortus", "Faster, Higher, Stronger", not "Rich, Richer, Richest"
Bishop Ethelbert Talbot said in 1908; "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
Years from now when asked the legacy of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, I will repeat what I've written here today. It will not be the golden goal, the first gold medal on Canadian soil, nor any other golden moment of tainted money driven victory. The legacy of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games is the spirit for which Mellisa Hollingsworth cried. When she cried, she cried for you and me!