When Sidney Crosby scored the game winning goal for Canada in the gold medal men’s hockey match at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, the crowd went wild. The post-game atmosphere was described by media outlets as “electric” and “joyous.” Is there a more precise way to define the feelings that circulated during and after the game? In this essay, I examine one of the intangible impacts of The Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games: its affective legacy. Using theatre and performance studies, I analyze how the gold medal men’s hockey game was positioned to become a defining moment of the Olympics. Drawing on the work of American theatre studies scholar Jill Dolan, I argue that a combination of ideal conditions and careful orchestrations resulted in what Dolan calls a “utopian performative,” a feeling of fleeting, but intense inter-subjectivity experienced during a performance. As a result, the men’s gold medal match became an important temporal, cultural, and affective reference point for Vancouverites.


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pp. 83-88
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