Two Stanley Cup Playoff games, once Conference Final, the Frozen Four Championship, the Winter Classic. None of these event compare to what I was part of today.

Entering the day I was upset regarding the fact that I would not be able to be inside BC Place for the Opening Ceremonies. However, I understood the logistical reasoning for this. So, I doubled back to the International Broadcast Center (IBC), located in the massive, beautifully modern, brand new Convention Center on the Vancouver Waterfront. After all, HDTV isn’t the worst ever.

While enjoying the Ceremony I was clued into the fact that something would be happening about ten minutes after the Ceremonies in BC Place concluded. So, I made the round-trip from the IBC to my hotel in about 20 minutes so I could retrieve my camera.

Once Wayne Gretzky lit the Olympic Cauldron in BC Place my friend and I made out way outside to be met by about 200 other spectators and a second Olympic Cauldron, with four legs. Our vantage point was from behind a small fence. Many lucky individuals lined the path from the street to the Cauldron.

The Great One shortly after lighting the Cauldron

From then it was only a few short minutes before The Great One arrived with the Olympic Torch. He made the short procession and lit his second Cauldron of the night – a mere 50 feet, or so, away from me.

The fully lit Olympic Cauldron

A lengthy fireworks display – that would be the envy of Orchard Park July 4th organizer Howy Holmes – followed the lighting and brought a terrific cap to a memorable night.

Even though I missed out of the grandiose performance, I feel blessed to have been able to witness, in person, the lighting of the actual Olympic Cauldron. Because, as Matt Lauer pointed out, the Olympic Flame must be visible at all times.

I experienced the most genuine goosebumps of my life watching this ceremony take place. I just hope I can enjoy another opening ceremony one day.