Opening Ceremony live blog with Yahoo! Canada

Forget, for a moment, the Olympic motto of Faster, Higher, Stronger.

For Canadian athletes and the organizers of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, it's been four years of planning, building, training and anticipation toward the Games returning to Canada for the first time in 22 years. While Vancouver and Whistler have been abuzz this week with the arrival of the Olympic torch, athletes, officials and spectators, the pre-competition excitement will reach a crescendo this evening when 52,000 spectators fill B.C. Place to officially open the 21st edition of the Winter Olympiad.

These Games are expected to be Canada's finest hour in Olympic history, with athletes wearing the Maple Leaf expected to give the country its greatest medal haul. Canadians are already holding their collective breath in anticipation of the first gold medal ever won by a "hometown" athlete on Canadian soil/ice/snow - and that could come as early as Saturday from either/and/or Manuel Osborne-Paradis in the men's downhill ski race, Jennifer Heil in women's moguls and short track speed skater Charles Hamelin.

While you're watching the opening ceremonies on television, join the Yahoo! Canada team and its live chat beginning at 8:45 p.m. ET. It will include Puck Daddy hockey blogger Greg Wyshynski inside BC Place and long-time sports media columnist William Houston, who will be writing for Yahoo! during the next two weeks.

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