A month of transition for the city of glass!

Posted on April 4, 2010

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Vancouver began March with a city-wide hangover and the post Olympic blues, before gearing up for the next world-class event.  the Paralympics.  However with only five winter events, compared with 20 in the summer programme, it is not surprising that the party shrunk.

Sponsors pulled out, Olympic houses shut, people on the streets no longer high fived random strangers, but there was one thing that remained.  The support for the athletes, the party atmosphere evolved into a family one.  Ticket prices dropped allowing families to treat the kids to an event.  Festivities went from in your face to difficult to find, but they were still around.

A member of the USA wheelchair curling team on the ice during the round robin stage of the Paralympics.

Six teams take part in the round robin stage of Wheel Chair Curling during the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics. From left: Canada V Korea, USA V Japan, Norway V Italy.

A young boy sleeps between slalom skiing races after a long journey from Calgary with his family.

A sitting skier crosses the finish line during the first round of the Slalom event in the 2010 Paralympics, Whistler, BC.

Children get to try out sledge hockey at the spectator area of the Slalom sking races during the 2010 Paralympics in Whistler, BC.

Limited attractions stayed open throughout the Paralympics, for example Canada North House, Live City downtown, BC Pavilion and the Robson Square zip line.  Coupled with some good weather, the trusty Canadian queues were still present, particularly on closing weekend.

Before the festivities of February and March become a distant memory here is some imagery to bring those attractions that stayed into March alive a little longer.

A rider crosses Robson square on a free zip wire.

The Olympic rings in Coal Harbour changed into the Paralympic symbol

Nadia Stefyn rides over Robson square in a zip wire.

Erica Hargreave explores BC pavillion

With only five events, the program was short, a little over a week, and everything ended abruptly.  Athletes left the city early as the closing ceremony was held in Whistler and few fans ventured out to watch it on big screens in Vancouver.  The city hit its limit, was ready for hibernation.

Within 24 hours, sets came down, Robson square emptied and normality returned.  It was a great party, but the residents of Vancouver appeared ready for it to end.

Screens in Robson Square showed the closing ceremony but few people turned up to watch

As the closing ceremony commences traders swap their last few Olympic pins.

Sets and screens are removed from downtown.

Workman deconstruct stages downtown

Normal life quickly returns to Vancouver

With a few lasting marks on the city remaining

As Easter arrives, the film crews return and the days become longer, the lasting effects of the Winter games will slowly become evident, along with lessons that can be learned for London 2012.

Vancouver successfully put on games during a world recession and London now has an uphill battle to find the funds (and 70,000 volunteers) to continue the trend of each games being more spectacular than the last.  Only 844 days to go until opening ceremonies…

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