When the 21st Winter Olympic Games kick off tomorrow in Vancouver, British Columbia, competition and winter sports will be at the forefront of most people’s minds. But the real spirit of the Olympics has its foundation in something more substantial than mere sport. As Pierre de Coubertin, considered the father of the modern Olympic games, once stated, “[m]ay joy and good fellowship reign, and in this manner, may the Olympic Torch pursue its way through ages, increasing friendly understanding among nations, for the good of a humanity always more enthusiastic, more courageous and more pure.”
Indeed, this noble pursuit has done well in reminding the world that despite our differences we are all equal in our humanity. This year in Vancouver, alongside downhill skiing, speed skating, and all the rest, will be the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. This aspect of the games isn’t a competition, but rather and ongoing exposition celebrating the array of cultures that work together to make the Olympics possible. 194 music, dance, theater, and other performances will add a dimension to the games that sport simply can’t capture, and we hope attendees will take advantage of these opportunities to learn about the cultures represented by the +80 countries taking part in the games.
Since A.C.E.’s activities are primarily centered in Northwest, we are delighted that this year’s games are so close. To be so near to this cultural convergence is inspiring. We invite any and all friends of A.C.E. to share their Olympic stories with us here. You can catch the opening ceremony tomorrow night at 6 PM western time.
If you’re headed to the games this year and crossing the U.S. Canada border, click here for border crossing cameras and wait times. Additionally, the 2010 Winter Olympics provide a great chance to breach the language barrier, so if you’re going be sure to dust off your additional language skills.