The winter Olympics is a chance for not just Vancouver but all of Canada to be in the spotlight for the rest of the world. Every airport, hotel chain, car rental service, restaurant and Canadian has a chance to show the world how great our country can be. For those of you who are not Canadian I will use an analogy to tell you how I feel about our Countries current attitude.
I feel like we are a guy who a few years ago proposed. We got really excited, put countless hours into picking the ring, planning the proposal, writing the speech, re-writing the speech, then after 8 ounces of scotch got the nerve up to ask her father that we were sure would say no. To our relief and excitement he said yes, then a few days later so did she.
For months it was all we talked about, showing off the ring, saying the word "fiance" until our single friends got sick and then we started planning the wedding. By we I mean we approved the location and then left it to our future bride and her bridesmaid. Currently we are waiting for an invitation to find out when it is happening and what, if anything we need to do.
In 1988 I was lucky enough to carry to the Olympic torch for a feet as my Mom was carrying it for a Kilometre or two and I have always loved the Winter Olympics more than any other sporting event on a world stage.
About 8 Months from now we will be welcoming the wolrd. Our Atheletes will be challenging the world and all I know is Coke is giving me a chance to carry the flame.
Here are 5 ideas for VANOC to run with:
- In the spirit of IdeaStorm challenge Canadians to share ideas about how they think we should share our Canadian Spirit with the world. Ways Canadians think we can make the 2010 games unique.
- Crowdsource a Canadian visitors handbook. Have Canadians share their favourite Canadian traditions, meals visitors must try, places they must visit and historical facts and figures that have shaped Canada. Let all of Canada decide what we want the world to know about us.
- User-generated tours of Canada and Vancouver. Create a website where Canadians can upload videos where they showcase their town, city or neighbourhood. International travelers may want to extend their stay and see more of Canada. I love the Vancouver Islands, Whistler, Banff and Jasper as much as the next person but there are other cities and places that world may want to know about. Think Drumheller, Kananaskis, Niagara Falls...all of PEI, etc. Let the world get a real understanding of where else they can go while they are in our Country.
- Podcast tours of Vancouver. Have users create and upload Podcast tours of Yaletown, Gastown, Granville, Kitsalano and all of the pockets of Vancouver. Let them be beer tours, art tours, architectural tours, etc created by actual residents of Vancouver for free. Proved a map and directions so they can listen as the travel the town.
- Thank the world. Our economy (fingers crossed) will get a kick-start, Vancouver will benefit from improved infrastructure and facilities and our nation will have had a chance to showcase the best of our country. In standard Canadian style lets say Thank you bigger, better and more heartfelt than any nation has thanked the world after hosting the games before. Where can unsold t-shirts go (Darfur, Somalia, etc)? Who can use our extra winter jackets and pants, toques and gloves? How can we collect money to help the countries of our world in need? AND most importantly lets ask all of Canada, the visiting athletes and visiting tourists to help us decided where we should direct this help. Lets make the games about more the Vancouver, more than Canada and more than sports. Lets make them about spirit, about a world coming together to showcase sportmanship, friendship and excellence.