Whistler, BC – Paralympic Closing Ceremony

The Paralympic Games closed last Sunday in the little alpine village of Whistler, BC. Most of the Paralympic events happened on the slopes above the village, so it was fitting that they host some of the welcome and goodbye events.

Unfortunately, it rained as the teams and celebrants paraded through town, but that didn’t dampen the welcome or the spirit of the event.

Vancouverite and 5 Gold Medal winner in these Games, Lauren Woolstencroft carried Canada’s flag. She won her medals in Alpine Skiing, visually-impaired class. What an accomplishment for any athlete. Brava!

The group from Sochi, Russia, which will host the next Winter Games in 2014 was also part of the program and included Russian children and dancers.

I found the Inuit blanket tossing ceremony the most interesting inclusion, and I am glad to see the First Nations included all the way through both sets of Games, as they were the hosts. Everything happened on their tribal lands, which still need reparations for being stolen. You can learn more about some of the tribes and the current issues in the Vancouver archive (link below).

I thought the Canadians did an admirable job of including everyone in the process and the Games were well organized. These were the first Games which had a possibility of being too warm, and unfortunately, weather factored in as El Nino made the winter even warmer than usual.

But the events were arranged and re-arranged and best I know, everything was finally done. I hope one day that Vancouver and / or Seattle will be able to host the summer Games. I think it’s a better fit.

Enjoy coming to either City, and don’t forget Whistler, either!

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