I am lucky enough to live and work in and around the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver/Whistler. My mid-season break coincided with a chance to enjoy the amazing Olympics spirit engulfing my home town. There really is nothing like feeling this spirit in person, observing the people and events and joining in the excitement of the Games and the surrounding parties. The Olympics really do rise above the corporate and political environment we are sold in advertisements. From the athletes pushing themselves to the limit to the international community bonding through sport, it‰Ûªs easy to get caught up in the excitement and atmosphere. The spirit felt authentic and genuine. These Olympics gave Canada a chance to shine and welcome the world. And that we did-with a big solid hug. Winter and winter sport specifically create a capacity to bridge the gap between cultures, transcending language and other barriers. The roots of this community and spirit form in the cold and the mountains through the love of snow and crisp air. The everyman turned athlete pushing himself on a daily basis in places like Whitecap to the toddler hopping on skis for the first time. These moments trickle down from the excellence of our world-class athletes in pursuit of their Olympic dreams.