For this installment in our Olympic Memories series, we revisit the 2010 Winter Olympic Games by asking CMBC transit operators about their experiences moving the world four years ago! Written by Jennifer Siddon, Senior Communications Advisor for Coast Mountain Bus Company.
Burt Sangalang has been a Community Shuttle Operator for five years, and an honourary bus operator since he was a little boy and used to ride the bus and rip transfers for his bus driver dad. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Burt drove Community Shuttle routes in Ladner, Richmond and Tsawwassen.
When asked about his overall impressions of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Burt said, “Everyone was so proud of hosting the games, Team Canada’s performance, and being able to welcome people from all over the world to our home.”
On the first day of Olympic competition, Burt and his friends went into downtown Vancouver at 5 a.m. (yes, you read that right) to try to be the first people in line to ride the zip line that was set up over Robson Square. They arrived to find two people ahead of them, and a zip line that wasn’t open yet.
While they were waiting, a television crew approached them and asked if they would come down to the Robson Square Ice Rink and skate in the background of a story they were working on. Burt and his friends agreed to do it. And big surprise, the story was about three-time World champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist, Elvis Stojko.
In the end, Burt and his friends didn’t end up on TV, but they did get to ride the zip line and take a picture with Elvis!
During the last day of Olympic completion, Burt was driving a Community Shuttle route in Richmond. He’d just arrived at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery in Steveston for his break, when he turned on the radio to hear Sidney Crosby score in overtime to clinch the Men’s Hockey gold medal.
Burt was so excited by the win that he grabbed the Canadian flag, which he kept with him during the games, stood beside his Community Shuttle bus, and started jumping up and down and cheering. There were no passengers waiting to board his shuttle at the time, and very few motorists on the road, but Burt did notice the drivers who were on the road seemed pretty confused by what he was doing.
One motorist, a woman, stopped her car, rolled down her window and asked Burt about what he was doing. He told her how the Canadian Men’s Hockey team had just won gold. She immediately parked her car, grabbed one end of Burt’s Canadian flag and started jumping up and down and cheering with him. She even told Burt she didn’t really watch hockey but she was so excited by the big win!
Thanks for sharing your Olympic Memories Burt!