I spent this afternoon out in Hamilton, Ontario, watching the Canada vs the United States hockey game. This morning I predicted that they would win with a 3-2 margin, which they did. And on that note, thus ends the 2010 Winter Olympics.

I’ll be honest — I was against the Olympics. I was against the costs, against the expenditures, against the further widening of the gap between the rich and poor. But truthfully, I’ll carry the three days I spent in Vancouver at the start of the Olympics with me for the rest of my life. I have always loved Vancouver, but I have never seen a Vancouver in love before: a city full of people, not only with pride for their country, but also pride for the city they live in.

After leaving, I watched my friends, Rebecca, Dave O, John Bollwitt and John Biehler, continue to give great coverage of the Olympics. I was a bit sad I couldn’t make it out longer, but thankful they were there covering the Olympics from a grass-roots perspective. I seriously think that their coverage of the Olympics will set the bar for future Olympics in terms of social media coverage.

The sad part for me is watching Vancouver, a city I love with all my heart, transform back into the city it was prior to the games. I watched it morph, albeit briefly, into a city of fun, a city of things to do, a city of street-side parties, a city with late nights and early mornings. Some would argue that a city doesn’t need those features, but having lived in other cities in Canada such as Ottawa before, Vancouver has always paled in comparison.

So as these Olympics end, I want to say that I was thankful to be a part of them. It was a small part, only lasting a few days, but those memories will resonate with me for years. I’m thankful that we won as many golds as we did, I’m thankful I spent a few moments in Vancouver with some good friends, and I’m thankful I finished these two weeks off watching the gold medal game out in Hamilton with my friend Dale.

Congrats Canada on a great games, and congrats Vancouver on making it a great event. I had a great time, even as a pessimist, and am happy Canada went the extra mile to make it an amazing event.