The Olympics and the Lands

An Olympics letter from me in the March 4 Richmond Review has a Garden City Lands application.  By the end, maybe you’ll see how it can apply. In any case, I’ll say more there. Here’s the letter:

Thinking big has won big. John Furlong, 2010 Olympics leader, welcomed all Canadians to his team and helped us find the great country he knew to be here. I found it at its best in moguls champion Alexandre Bilodeau and his older brother Frédéric, a champion in life with cerebral palsy.

Locally, Richmond council made the most of our place in the big picture, Alexa Loo was an inspiration, and participation was huge. The legacy Olympic Oval, architecturally wondrous and environmentally green, is on course to join Terra Nova Rural Park on the planet’s leading edge of community wellness.

Mr. Furlong, a longtime Richmond resident, led the bid to host the games and succeeded in 2003. Since then, he has led the immense Winter Olympics project to the great results we’ve seen, with the Paralympics still ahead. He has faced adversity and survived to excel.

Richmond experience readied Mr. Furlong for his Olympic achievement. He knew the volunteer perspective firsthand from years here in a major community-service position without pay, and he was prepared to rely on Olympic volunteers even to win against the daunting weather.

Thanks to that one Richmond citizen and so many who shared in the Olympic spirit, there has been much to celebrate. Let’s carry on the visionary thinking, the magnanimous mindset, and the perseverance toward success.

For me, here’s the relevance of that Olympics letter to the Garden City Lands issue:

  • ALR-land protection and other conservation campaigns are successful because people are thinking big, while the need for such efforts continues because of the people who don’t buy into that way of seeing the world and our corner of it.
  • If Terra Nova Rural Park and the Olympic Oval are two major ways for Richmond to be on the leading edge of community wellness on this planet, the Garden City Lands can be a third major way. That’s especially likely if the final results enable the potential value of the Urban Agriculture Education program proposed by Dr. Kent Mullinix of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, but it can happen even without that.
  • With the Garden City Lands joining the oval and rural park on the leading edge, there will be potential for effective tourism promotion with that 21st century theme, community wellness. Or at least there will be if people in the right places are thinking big.

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