Image by Jason Hargrove via Flickr

Stanley Cup Finals – June 15, 2011 – Vancouver...Image by Jason Hargrove

News about Vancouver doesn’t reach the midwest too often, but the events following the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals made international news.  The Canucks were unable to claim the Stanley Cup and all hell breaks out in Vancouver, much like the conclusion of the ’94 Stanley Cup Final.

I saw photos of blazing cars, tear gas, people looting, officers beating people with batons, the melee, blood, tears — everything that you expect to see in a war-torn country. Media coverage made Vancouver’s downtown-core seem like a war zone. And that’s what people around the world saw, including people in the midwest. There were a few people in Indiana who mentioned how shocked they were about the rioting in Vancouver. Someone commented that they expect to see something like that in any other place, but not in Canada. Others can’t understand how a sporting event can spur such destructive behaviour. “Those Vancouver fans are crazy!” I think that people get the impression that Vancouver Canucks fans are a bunch of thugs.

It’s a huge shame and disappointment that this took place. It only took a few people to make the entire city look bad. I know that the majority of Vancouverites and Canucks fans are not like this. Unfortunately, this does not translate to the news. Although people here are no longer following the events of the riots, the negative aspects still stand out in their minds. I have been following the impromptu community clean-up efforts by Vancouverites. I seen photos and read some of the positive messages posted on the boards temporary replacing the storefront windows. These are the actions that is truly reflective of  the spirit of Vancouverites.