Originally published: Jan. 27, 2010
The billions of dollars spent on the 2010 Olympic Winter Games don’t faze Tasha Bukovnik. And she wouldn't want to be anywhere else than Vancouver when the Games begin.
The 36-year-old Olympic super fan signed up as a volunteer for the Games as far back as 2008, carried the Olympic torch in her hometown of Invermere last Friday and attends countdown events. She’s also one of a small circle of online Games chroniclers who have started blogs and Twitter accounts to share Olympic moments they and their friends experience.
"We’re all Olympic junkies. We love the Olympic movement. We’re the kind of people that are glued to the TV, whether it’s summer Olympics or winter Olympics,” she said. "We all think of it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We’re never going to have the Games come to our home province again."
Her blog We are all Mukmuks! plays on the We are all Canucks ad campaign. It highlights the official 2010 Olympic mascots’ online sidekick, Mukmuk, which is based on the endangered Vancouver Island marmot. Bukovnik contributes money toward a foundation that strives to save the marmot from extinction.
She’s keeping a copy of her blog to share with her future children and grandchildren. She also shared her enthusiasm for the Olympics with Games-related gifts at Christmas--everyone in her family received Vancouver 2010 red mittens. She loves Games merchandise, owning Team Canada hoodies, scarves, hats and a backpack, multiple mascot plush toys, a keychain and luggage tag and at least 100 Olympic pins. She waited impatiently for Games-related Cowichan sweaters to arrive at The Bay so she could buy one.
"It’s like the Olympics puked in my cubicle," she said, admitting that her enthusiasm-related consumerism makes her "sound like a real geek."
Bukovnik didn’t want to calculate the dollar amount of Games-related goods she's bought because she knows it's a little much. But her tone isn’t always rah rah. She says her post on the hideousness of the special backpack for Games volunteers received much positive response.
"It’s the ugliest backpack I've ever seen in my life," she wrote on her blog.
Bukovnik recently acknowledged the work of other "2010 personal journey" bloggers on her site. "It’s actually quite a small community," she said.
She noted one of the most prolific blogs, 2010VanFan, is written by a woman who works at the Olympic Superstore inside the Bay. Another, Journey to Vancouver 2010-Diary of a Fan is written by a woman in Toronto. Bukovnik works in communications for 2010 Legacies Now, the non-profit that supported the bid for the Games and aims to create legacies in sport and recreation, the arts, literacy across B.C.
Bukovnik believes the legacy of the Games will be positive. She notes the 2010 Games have catalyzed the construction of large, important projects and she's not concerned about civil liberties being compromised. "If people want to protest, they can protest," she said.
With only temporary traffic snarls, she can't understand how anyone would want to flee Vancouver during the Games.
"To each their own."