‘Olympic fever’ captured the hearts of most Canadians in dramatic fashion last year, and many of us were lucky enough to witness it first-hand.
On the streets in Vancouver and all over Canada we saw an outpouring of emotion and pride.
When Sidney Crosby scored the game-winning goal in overtime of the gold medal hockey game, Canadians of all races embraced, high-fived, screamed and shouted, and generally went absolutely crazy.
I started to wonder if ‘Olympic fever’ could help us in the long run.
I thought about the racial divide here in Abbotsford, and I wondered if some of the unity we saw on TV could somehow trickle down into our daily lives.
I thought about those who are homeless, without work, and looking for affordable housing, and I wondered if some of the money that had been generated/promised from the Olympics would in fact be used for them.
I thought about those in our community who have been caught up in things like gang-warfare and drug-related crime, and I wondered if the Olympics showed them what life could be like without hatred and greed.
The Olympics showed us that we are a nation that is diverse, yet unified. It showed us that we can get along despite our differences.
It showed us that there are great things that can be achieved if we commit ourselves to it. It showed us what can be done in the face of great adversity.
But it was only a few weeks.
Imagine what this community could achieve if it put that kind of energy into solving some of the problems we have in Abbotsford.
We need to realize these problems will never be solved by holding hands and singing ‘Kumbaya’ for a few short weeks.
They will be solved by those who diligently put their heart and soul into making changes, by those who reject gang violence and peer pressure, by those who reach out to communities different from themselves, and by those who don’t quit in the face of great adversity.
That’s the true Olympic spirit.