So on February 2 this year, we all woke up to ground hog day and realized we were back in 2020 – not sure if that makes us a year younger than we were February 1st or we’re still stuck in the movie of Ground Hog Day where we keep waking up to 2020.
I do not know what 2021 will bring but we do know what the past brought and yes 11 years ago today – on Friday February 12, 2010 the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games opened. Our cruise home was the Main Press Centre and as a corporate sponsor at the time – I remember coming into the convention centre for the press conference following the opening ceremonies where speedskater Catriona Le May Doan stood waiting for the final arm of the torch to come up which it did not. The start of the games and the opening ceremonies was all about how could a mistake like the fourth arm of the torch not coming up have happened – it was a scandal for Canada. Ballantyne was home to cruise ships housing the security detail of which I have heard stories that can’t be repeated and well the Sochi 2014 Russian house – had a lot of Russian vodka flowing – that seemed to just keep appearing from somewhere…I just can’t disclose from where. Tragedy also struck that week when a Georgian athletic was fatally killed in a horrific accident during a training run on the luge track and the start of the games were off to a somber and slow start. From the first days of those games for which I was involved in, it didn’t seem great. Just like the first few months of 2021.
2010 was also a pivot year for cruise. It was one of our lowest cruise seasons in decades with just 177 sailings and 578,986 guests- down 320,000 from the year before after the state of Alaska imposed a $50 head tax for cruise passengers which was eventually trimmed. Our industry has been resilient and is facing likely the greatest challenge that it ever has. But…if the 2010 Olympics could grow from a somber start with tragedy, protests, a failed opening ceremonies torch lighting along with heartbreak for early slated Canadian athletes expected to win medals to something that became quite the opposite, well maybe 2021 can as well l!! In that first week of the games it started to change then really started to grow and unite the country. The 2010 Games had the highest medal counts for Canada than any Winter Olympic games including gold in both women’s’ and men’s hockey, with a community and country that rallied and came together in a way that I have not seen in any Olympics since. As bad as 2021 is starting – maybe we’re just like the 2010 Olympics it’s starting bad, but the resiliency will rally – just like it did in 2010 as momentum started to grow. Love these two photos, you can see the boom around the vessels parked at Ballantyne to protect the security detail and I hugely love the photo of the procession lined up – that is our challenge – just need to get our procession lined up…so we can show we’re ready to start.
Happy Friday all!!!