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Mayor has mixed emotions as successful Games come to end

As Gregor Robertson passed the Olympic flag to his Russian counterpartduring Sunday’s closing ceremonies, part of him was not quite ready tolet go.

As Gregor Robertson passed the Olympic flag to his Russian counterpart during Sunday’s closing ceremonies, part of him was not quite ready to let go.

“It was a real mix of emotions,” said Vancouver’s mayor yesterday. “I felt so much joy and pride for our city and our country … (I was) not quite wanting to let go. I really didn’t want something this good to come to an end.”

The 17-day Winter Olympic shindig — which began with the tragic death of a Georgian luger and ended in triumph with Sidney Crosby’s gold medal-winning overtime goal — gripped the city in a state of frenzied patriotism.

Robertson was up late Sunday and admitted it was a struggle to get out of bed yesterday morning.

“We hosted the biggest event in our country’s history and it was a huge success.”

Robertson said the Games were the greenest ever, setting new records for people walking and taking public transit. He’s hopeful that Vancouver will continue to see a bump in transit users and that it demonstrates to the federal and provincial governments that “if we provide it, people will ride it.”

The Games, he added, boosted Vancouver’s positive international profile even higher and will bring business and tourism to the city.

They also shone the spotlight on some of the city’s problems, especially homelessness.

The mayor, who headed to Ontario last night to be in Ottawa for the federal budget on Thursday, said Canada needs to push forward with a national housing strategy and come through on the bid book’s promise of 3,200 new affordable homes.

 
 
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