Maybe there is something in Vancouver’s water, or maybe there is something in Vancouver’s air! Whatever it is, something uniquely Vancouver has bred many outstanding people, and given rise to many outstanding events.
Let us start with the international environmental movement Greenpeace. This controversial group of environmental activists got its start right here in Vancouver. In 1971 nuclear bomb tests were being conducted in Alaska. Alarmed at what damage might occur, a group of young people from Vancouver chartered a boat from Granville Isalnd (just across False Creek from the BEST WESTERN PLUS Chateau Granville), renamed it Greenpeace and sailed into the test zones, determined to stop the tests. This group raised enough public awareness with their bold antics to cause an end to nuclear bomb testing in Alaska. Eventually the group adopted the name Greenpeace, and as the organization grew, moved away from its grassroots foundations, relocating its headquarters to Europe. From modest beginnings, to an internationally recognized movement, the roots of the Greenpeace environmental movement will forever be deeply rooted in Vancouver.
In 2010, the international sporting world focused on Vancouver for the Winter Olympic Games. Despite being a country frozen in ice and snow for 6 months of the year, before 2010 Canada rarely made a substantial impact at the Winter Olympics. That all changed with these Games, as Canada finished the competition with 14 gold medals, 7 silver medals, and 5 bronze medals, to finish the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in 3rd place overall, behind only the United States and Germany. The success of the 2010 Winter Games was a momentous occasion for both the citizens of Vancouver, and the rest of Canada. The party spilled out onto the streets, right in front of the BEST WESTERN PLUS Chateau Granville!
Perhaps the greatest achievement ever by a local athlete is the MARATHON OF HOPE marathon run by Terry Fox. As brave as any warrior, and as determined as any Olympian, Terry Fox, who had already lost one leg to cancer, planned to run a marathon a day, in the hopes of raising $1 million to fight cancer. Terry made it halfway across Canada, running 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles), before cancer returned to stop him in his efforts to complete the cross-Canada run. That did not stop the dream that Terry Fox had when he started the run though. Since Terry’s run in 1980, the Terry Fox Run has become an international event. In Terry Fox Runs worldwide, over $600 million has been raised for cancer research. Terry is memorialized outside of B.C. Place Stadium in a stunning sculpture designed by Douglas Copeland (the local author of the iconic novel Generation X). This amazing memorial to a more amazing individual is only a few minutes walk from the BEST WESTERN PLUS Chateau Granville, and is well worth viewing. A more inspirational story you will never know!
Vancouver has fostered many other athletes, artists, and just everyday citizens who have contributed greatly to the global community. So whether there is something in our water, or if there is something in our air, if you find yourself a changed person after spending time in our magical city, you are not alone!