Joel Epstein: Exploring Vancouver With A True Olympian

Source: Huffington Post

Next week when the Winter Olympics get underway in Vancouver, BC, many will recall the iconic image of Sam Sullivan waving a massive Olympic flag at the 2006 winter games in Turin, Italy. Were Sullivan just another athlete or Olympic official the image he cut would be long forgotten. But Sullivan is no ordinary gifted athlete or business of sports bureaucrat.

As the former mayor of Vancouver and a quadriplegic who worked tirelessly to ready the city and British Columbia for the games, Sullivan is an inspiring figure who will tower over the buff six and a half foot tall athletes at the games from his permanent perch in a wheelchair. Though he will never ski or ice skate again, as a living legend and champion of Vancouver — and particularly its poor and dispossessed — Sullivan deserves the Gold as much as any of the athletes who will be competing in this year’s winter games.