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Canadian poet Shane Koyczan performs during the opening ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics on Feb. 12, 2010. (Jerry Lampen/Reuters)
Canadian poet Shane Koyczan performs during the opening ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics on Feb. 12, 2010. (Jerry Lampen/Reuters)

Four people who made an impact on the 2010 Games, and vice versa Add to ...

Tewanee Joseph

Role at the Games: Chief Executive Officer for the Four Host Nations overseeing overall aboriginal engagement in the Games.

Of note: Mr. Joseph is half Maori and half Squamish. His father was a keyboardist in the Quintikis, a Maori show band that played in Vietnam, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Vancouver in the 1960s and 1970s. Mr. Joseph is lead singer for a rock-and-roll and blues band, Bitterly Divine, which has played North America and China and has a second album out soon.

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What he’s done since: In 2011, he worked on Maori engagement in the Rugby World Cup held in New Zealand. Continued work with the Tewanee Consulting Group, which works on communications strategies among First Nations, corporate Canada, government agencies and others.

2010 memory: Hearing of the death of 22-year-old Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili , killed in Whistler during a training run on Feb. 12, 2010. Mr. Joseph was in a lounge at a First Nations pavilion at Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver when John Furlong’s assistant passed on the news. “I just felt really devastated,” he said, recalling his sense that Mr. Kumaritashvili had lost his life “in an instant” after years of sacrifice to get to the Games.

Chris Shaw

Role at the Games: The Games’ most high-profile critic. A spokesman for No Games 2010 and later a member of the Olympic Resistance Network.

Of note: His day job is as a neuroscientist at the University of British Columbia, working on dementia and an unusual “sobering” neurological disease called Guamanian ALS, which “resembles Alzheimers, Parkinsons and Lou Gehrig’s disease all rolled into one.”

What he’s done since: Working with the Work-Less Party, devoted to issues of sustainability, resource use and making the city more democratic. He ran unsuccessfully for city council in 2011. Also was lead medical services co-ordinator for Occupy Vancouver.

2010 memory: He said he was under persistant police surveillance from 2009 on, with officers showing up, at first, at his basement apartment with a knock. At the door were two Integrated Security Unit agents, one of whom he knew as an RCMP corporal. “They said, ‘Just to let you know, we have our eyes on you and we’ll see you out there.’ ”

Lucile Flavelle

Role at the Games: Volunteer at the Whistler Creekside information kiosk at the base of the downhill events. She and her family have owned a home in the Whistler area since 1968. She says she volunteered “to be part of the action.”

Of note: Now 82, Mrs. Flavelle has kept her all-weather blue jacket from the 2010 Olympics handy to keep warm in the winter. The turquoise jackets were given to each of the thousands of volunteers at the Games and she’s proud of it – a trusted sign during the Games that help was nearby.

What she’s done since: Mrs. Flavelle continues to ski weekly. Last fall, she participated in a two-week bicycle trip across Vietnam, covering 30 kilometres a day.

2010 memory: She said she vividly remembers sitting on the chilly volunteer bus at 5:30 a.m. during the two weeks of events.“All the people on the bus were volunteers so it was rather social,” she said. “There was a lot of ambience, a great positive feeling of pride.” As a volunteer, she missed much of the Olympics, however tears welled up as she spoke of the Paralympic Games. “Everybody cheered for each country. It was so moving.” she said, her voice breaking.

Shane Koyczan

Role at the Games: Performed spoken-word piece We Are One at the opening ceremony. “We are an experiment going right for a change.”

Of note: Mr. Koyczan was discovered for the Olympic job thanks to a YouTube video. He delivered a career-making performance high atop a pillar in BC Place despite a terrible fear of heights. He said he was made to feel comfortable by being strapped in for the performance, and not standing anywhere near the edge.

What he’s done since: His anti-bullying TED talk To This Day went viral, with more than 2.4 million views on TED.com. He is now writing the libretto for a Vancouver Opera commission based on his autobiographical novel in verse Stickboy. The anti-bullying opera will have its world premiere in October.

2010 memory: The day after the opening ceremony, in a coffee shop interview, he was repeatedly interrupted by praise and autograph requests from passersby, Mr. Koyczan told The Globe and Mail he was stunned by the reaction. “I woke up to 600 messages in my inbox. I’m honestly flabbergasted,” said Mr. Koyczan, who was then 34. “Being up there was, I really don’t know how to describe it. I guess for a poet, language fails at this point.”

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