The 2010 Vancouver Olympics have evolved just like HBC's Official Red Canadian Olympic Mittens after one wears them for a week.
The mittens have generated excitement when they first hit HBC Stores. HBC couldn't supply the mittens fast enough they were so popular. For $10 Canadian they were also affordable for almost every Canadian. The mittens are a way to show Canadian Olympic pride. In fact the mittens are so popular that even U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was caught wearing them when he attended the Opening Ceremonies.
The popularity of the mittens is like the popularity and energy found before the opening ceremonies. Vancouverites and those arriving from around the world could feel the energy and anticipation of the games arriving the week before they opened. The airport and the city itself had a buzz to it. That buzz still exists today as the games pass the ten day mark.
But after a couple of days of average wear and tear the mittens start to show fraying around the edges. These frays are best seen by loose threads and the noticeable "less white" of the white maple leaf in the palms of the mittens. On the inside of the right mitten I've developed a hole in the lining. This hole has developed despite hardly wearing these mittens since they were brand new last December. The quality of mittens seems to be a little suspect.
The Olympic Games are just like the mittens fraying. At the games there have been issues ("frays") that have been pointed out by the press. Issues include the chain link fence keeping spectators back from the Olympic Cauldron, issues with the ice resurfacing machine at the Long Track Speedskating Venue and the poor conditions at Cypress Mountain due to high temperatures and lack of snow. The major hole in the games, like in the right mitten, was the death of the Georgian Luger. But unlike the mittens, the quality of competition doesn't seem suspect.
However, like the mittens, despite the fraying around the edges there is excitement. Excitement when medals are awarded, excitement during competition like tonights U.S. vs. Canada Men's hockey game and the prospect of a similar game occurring in women's hockey.
After the games the mittens will form a kind of rememberance. Worn and frayed around the edges, but full of memories. Memories of great competition and artistry. Memories of great friends and excitement. Memories from 2010 and hopes of the next Olympic Games in London 2012.
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