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Villani Calls Vancouver Olympics ‘Richer’ Experience

* Mike Villani, the Voice of APD, is a long-time police department volunteer and friend. He served in the broadcast booth at the winter games.

by Michael Villani

It could be the only ending to these Cinderella games of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Canada skates past the USA, in overtime, to win the Hockey gold medal. Hollywood couldn’t have scripted a grander, more exciting finale to these past 17 days of fierce competition than the one the world watched on Sunday.

Villani bids farewell to the games

Canada’s hockey triumph, on the last day of competition, just hours before the Closing Ceremony, was the country’s 14th gold medal – a record for any one country in the Winter Olympics.

I was on my way home when the final score was announced. The boos and groans from the mostly American group of passengers reflected their total disappointment in the final outcome. The cheers from the small amounts of Canadians scattered around the cabin, however enthusiastic and heartfelt, nonetheless paled in comparison to what I saw on TV, at home, later that afternoon. Vancouver was utter bedlam, with hundreds of thousands of delirious fans clogging the streets and bringing traffic to a virtual standstill.

Whew, I got out of Dodge just in the nick of time!

Mike Villani announces an APD award winner

Someone asked how these Olympics compared with my time at the Summer Games in Athens and/or in Beijing. Without blinking an eye, I told them “NO CONTEST!” This was by far the richer, more rewarding experience.

I had heard that Prime Minister Stephen Harper urged the usually reserved Canadian people to express pride in their country enthusiastically. No problem there, as we all witnessed these past two weeks. Their exuberance was infectious, and I’ve come home with a warm remembrance of my time with these proud people and their beautiful homeland.

With that said, I am very happy to be back in my “hood” with my wife Patti, my family and many friends who sent so many messages of encouragement and support. For that I am grateful.

I would also like to express my gratitude to my announcing partner PJ Kwong. Her’s is the beautiful voice you hear throughout the competition. Without her recommendation to the International Skating Union, I would have been home watching the Games like all of you. Thanks Peej…love you.

Congratulations to Team USA for their triumphant showing, winners of 37 medals at the Vancouver Games. For the youngsters who didn’t do as well as expected, they’ll work tirelessly for the next four years to be on the podium in Sochi, Russia – as will I, to again be able to report to you from The Games.