At this juncture I expected to be writing a somewhat negative article regarding the 2010 Games that would have been easy target practice for my usual rants. The overspending, the grim death and the absurd characters used in the marketing were all set up like bowling pins just waiting to be taken down. So far I have very little to report that could be considered negative, even as I currently spend more time in the Lower Mainland than in the Boundary. I've visited Granville, seen the O Zone in Richmond, and watched as an entire city and nation were crushed from a devastating blow to the men's hockey team. I can honestly say, even I have even experienced a twinge of patriotism which for me is possibly the first time. I watched from the Planetarium as Vancouver literally deflated with the loss to the United States' hockey team. Standing on the shore you could actually hear the momentum of the game coming from the downtown core. You could almost guess the score at certain points depending on the volume of the sighs and cheers. I drove downtown after the heartbreaking loss expecting to see carnage but what I saw was an unusually calm crowd that opted to not show their disappointment by ransacking the city. They instead chose to continue partying into the night with few incidents. This was a total surprise to me given the typical fallout of such defeats. Apparently one brave American even went unscathed in the downtown bar scene despite wearing his team's national jersey at the worst possible time. It's that combination of entitlement and (rhymes with walls) that constantly seats the yanks atop the pile in most competitive sports. That is also an example of why we will always be looking up at the U.S. as we are not like them. We don't have that cutthroat mentality and likely never will. Imagine a maple leaf adorned jersey entering a New York bar last week and imagine what would have happened to that poor Canuck. He'd be lucky he was wearing red as he'd be beaten to a pulp. I am curious, however, how we handle winning as the women's and men's hockey team took home gold and the aftermath from the victory is yet to be determined. My sense of pride was heightened by a trip to the Kootenay Boundary booth representing us at the Oval in Richmond. I was greeted by some of my own images that I had shot last year of the art gallery and Greenwood as they hung on the wall. It was a nice combination of personal, municipal and national pride that I won't forget any time soon.