Cheers and Tears

A success-hungry nation gets fed.

Forget Olympic fever; Canada appears to have something closer to Olympic Ebola. Highly contagious and all-consuming, but in a nice, non-fatal flesh-melting way.

The overnight ratings from Friday’s opening ceremonies suggest that more than 26 million of the country’s 33 million people tuned in to view at least part of the three-and-a-half hour show.

The line-up to buy the “official” red mittens at the Bay’s Olympic super store in downtown Vancouver stretches more than a block at all hours of the day, and late into the evening.

And the excitement just keeps building, spilling over in the most unlikely places

Within minutes of tonight’s gold medal-winning performance by Alex Bilodeau in the men’s moguls, orange electronic highway notice signs around Vancouver were flashing a message of congratulations along with “Go Canada Go!”

And rest assured the athletes are feeling all that love.

The cheers that greeted Cindy Klassen when she stepped to the line for the women’s 3000 metre speed skating race were so deafening that she momentarily lost her game face, tearing up.

Even recalling the moment after the race caused tears to come to her eyes.

” I never expected the crowd to be so energetic. You couldn’t hear anything. It was incredible,” she told reporters.
“I’m so thankful for the support, that they’ve given us. All the athletes that are representing Canada here, we can feel the support and we’re so grateful for that.”

Three medals in the first two days? Consider yourself thanked.

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