The roof was lifted in a patriotic outpouring of support when Sid the Kid scored the gold medal winner in Sunday’s Olympic hockey final, said local physical therapist Evan Baldwin, one of the lucky thousands adding their cheers to the din.
“It was incredible. It was insanely loud,” said Baldwin Monday.
“It just a really amazing display of, I guess, our patriotism.
“Other than the goal itself probably the best part afterwards was everybody standing and singing O Canada. It was just really a great moment for sure.”
Baldwin, who attended the game with fiancée Terri Anderson, said Vancouver’s Canada Hockey Place was a sea of red and white and the noise was deafening.
“Everyone was wearing their jerseys. The whole place was red and white. And when they scored you couldn’t hear yourself cheer. It was just incredible.
“I watched it on TV later, and as good as it was on TV, it didn’t do it justice.”
The crowd’s enthusiasm was only dimmed for a short time — when U.S. forward Zach Parise shovelled in a loose puck to tie the game with only 25 seconds left.
While the American fans present let loose, it was a deflating moment for most in the building.
“It was pretty silent in there for a minute.”
Baldwin said he applied online for his tickets and was shut out in the first lottery. But he struck pay dirt in the second lottery getting all the tickets he ordered.
Besides the final, he saw Canada defeat Switzerland and lose to the U.S. in the preliminary rounds.
Unfortunately, his tickets for the half-pipe snowboarding event were cancelled because of warm conditions that left some viewing areas closed for safety reasons.
Events aside, the atmosphere in downtown Vancouver was amazing, he said.
“It was great. I’ve never seen anything like it.
“Just everybody was so friendly and so happy to be sharing the experience.”
Going out for dinner, every table shared their Olympic stories and sightings with all others within ear shot.
“It’s just a totally different experience from what we’re used to in everyday life here.”