Friday, October 14, 2011

A Changing Landmark

If you are not current on Vancouver activities yet have visited the city since 1983, you might wonder about a change in the landscape. From June 1983 to May 2010, there was a large white dome - similar to a giant marshmallow - that could be seen on the north side of False Creek. That fluffy white object was the world's largest air supported dome of BC Place.

Instead of the white mound visitors will now see spikes reaching to the sky since BC Place is  now the world's largest cable supported retractable roof stadium. (When BCer's do something we aim to be the best!)

From May of 2010 to September 30, 2011, we watched as cranes and people worked hard on the stadium. People were curious as to what was going on and what would everything look like in the end. On September 30 over 50,000 football fans found out as they watched our home team, the BC Lions, christen the new center with a 33 to 24 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Unfortunately when the Vancouver Whitecaps played the Portland Timbers on October 2 in the refurbished stadium's first Major Soccer League game, our hometown didn't fare so well. Portland beat us 1-0.

Most of my photos were taken before the game and the excitement I could feel from the people gathering was electric. It made me feel good and even though I had been walking for a while, energized me.

And of course this sculpture of Terry Fox garnered my attention right away. In fact I saw this a few days before I came to photograph the stadium and it touched my heart. As many know, he is one of my heroes.

Another monument to see outside BC Place is the one of Percy Williams.

At twenty years old Williams skyrocketed down the track at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. He won the gold medals in both the 100 and 200 metre sprints. Not only did his unexpected win thrust Williams into the spotlight but also his hometown of Vancouver.

Two years later in Toronto Williams set a world record when he ran the 100 metres in 10.3 seconds. Later that same month he took the gold for the 100 yard sprint at the first ever British Empire Games.

Sadly he suffered a serious leg injury during those games that he never fully recovered from. And even though Williams competed in the 1932 Olympics he was never able to regain the speed he once had. He made the difficult decision to retire from competition. Percy Williams died in 1982.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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