2010


Last week I wrote about how I had thrown caution to the wind and applied to be a volunteer performer at the 2010 Winter Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies. (Trust me: you have to capitalize all that stuff or you risk a knock on your door from the Olympic Language Police.) 

Here’s the note I just received by e-mail from “The Ceremonies Cast Team”:

“Thank you for your interest in volunteering for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

“We have received your application for consideration as a Volunteer Performer. [Editorial aside: You catching all these capitals?]

“In April, we will begin the audition scheduling process for auditions starting in May. As we anticipate receiving thousands of applications, this process will take several months. Please be aware that submitting an application does not guarantee an audition.

“All applicants, whether selected to audition or not, will receive information regarding the status of their application via e-mail or phone by the end of June 2009.”

Kind of makes you all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it? Giddy even. So now I guess I just have to wait for the phone to ring–or not. Likely not. But if it does, I’ll let you know what happens next on the Long Road to Olympic Stardom…

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There’s this little shindig in the works ’round Vancouver these days: the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Maybe you’ve already heard? 

Let's get this party started ©VANOC/COVAN

Let's get this party started ©VANOC/COVAN

I am old enough to have lived through–and worked at–this city’s last big party: Expo ’86. And this next event is unspooling pretty much the way that previous one did: initial optimism and collective goodwill, followed by major outrage, minor scandal and moderate pessimism, and capped by a couple of months of triumphant flag-waving and generous back-patting. 

We’re in the middle phase (outrage, scandal, pessimism) now, which makes it a little easier to accept that I didn’t get tickets to any events. (Who wants to go to those darn ol’ medal-round hockey games anyway?) But I know in my heart that the currently empty bandwagon will quickly fill up again…and I won’t be on it. I’ll be stuck at home watching the spectacle of a backyard Olympics on my small-screen TV.

Which is all by way of explaining why I did a really risky and potentially embarrassing thing last night: I applied to be a volunteer performer during the special ceremony events at the 2010 Winter Games.

What can I say? I like to sing. I like to dance. I play the guitar and the piano (enthusiastically if not well). I went to theatre school. I will turn 50 during the Opening Ceremonies. I want to write about the Olympics from the inside out. I want to feel one more time that little shiver of excitement that I felt in 1986 when Princess Diana stepped off her yacht and onto the site of the Canada Pavilion (now Canada Place) and said hello to all the breathless, bilingual, Alfred Sung-suited hosts and hostesses.

It won’t happen of course. But it felt good, when I pushed the “Submit your application” button, to think what it might feel like if it did: my very own personal gold-medal experience… 

Want to fight me for the spotlight at the 2010 Winter Games? Get your application in now!