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The XXI Winter Olympics and Paralympics

Feb 10, 2010

by muka handmade and vintage goods

Hello Canada, hello world!

The XXI Olympic Winter Games are being held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (home of the Vancouver Etsy Street Team) February 12–28, 2010. The X Paralympic Games are held a month later in the same venue. All the athletes who compete in these games are incredible, and watching what the Paralympic competitors can accomplish is truly inspiring.

I love the Winter Olympics because there are all kinds of “crazy” sports like luge and skeleton where people hurtle themselves down icy tracks with little more than a Lycra suit and a helmet! And speaking of crazy, in the midst of a recession year, U.S. athletes are finding it hard to get sponsors — prompting comedians like Stephen Colbert to bring his Colbert Nation along as sponsors of the U.S. Speedskating Team. All joking aside, the Olympics are always full of feel-good stories, and it’s a time when national pride can be on display without (too much of) a political agenda. Take Norway, for example, a country of just 4.6 million people that leads the overall Winter Olympic medal count with 280. No doubt they’re heavily favored in many events in Vancouver despite sending just 15 athletes to the games. (The U.S. is sending 250 athletes by comparison.) Of course, the host, Canada, should figure prominently on the podium and perennial powerhouses like Russia, Austria and Germany should shine as well.  

Here at Etsy we also have superstar international countries. Last year, Canada was the first non-U.S. country to post more than $1 million (USD) in sales in a single month (November) and continues to do so, earning Etsy Sales Gold. Australia and the UK are often flip-flopping Silver and Bronze positions (perhaps reflecting the relative strength of their currencies at any given time?). Like Norway in the Winter Olympics, tiny Israel also posts some impressive numbers and was actually just off the podium, coming in fourth in non-U.S. sales in 2009.

Gold buttons from tippleandsnack

Over on the shopper side, our friends in France took that fourth spot behind the big three of Canada, UK and Australia. Another story that inspires me: the lone athlete representing a country or region of the world, for example Muhammad Abbas, an alpine skier from Gilgit District, Pakistan. There are also Etsians selling from places like Honduras, Montenegro and Bhutan, countries that are unlikely to make the top of the lists but that show the broad reach of the handmade life.

Etsy, like the Olympic and Paralympic Games themselves, is not just about the sales or medals; it’s about the camaraderie, hard work and spirit of people seeing the fruits of their efforts. I’m sure the global Etsy community will be cheering on their home athletes and their favorite feel-good stories in Vancouver, and perhaps the games will inspire some cross-cultural shopping on Etsy as well!

Let the games begin!

Cast your votes in rikrak’s Handmade Olympics happening right now!

Shop Local Vancouver | More Sports Posts | Etsy International


  • Krystyna81

    Krystyna81 said 10 years ago

    I love it! Selling is fabulous...but the friendships I have developed on Etsy with sellers (and buyers!) all over the world is really the greatest part about our community.

  • CarryTheWord

    CarryTheWord said 10 years ago

    I love this post!

  • manvsgeorge

    manvsgeorge said 10 years ago

    Love those gold buttons! (And love Stephen Colbert...)

  • abacusbeadcreations

    abacusbeadcreations said 10 years ago

    I can't wait for the Olympics to start. Some amazing talent and courage there! Think I'll start looking for more international goodies when making my treasuries to spread some cross-country Etsy love!

  • martice

    martice said 10 years ago

    that blue baby wool hat is cute!

  • SissysArt

    SissysArt said 10 years ago

    Great Article! Vancouver looks like a place I'd love to visit. I can't wait to watch the Winter Olympics.

  • rosebudshome

    rosebudshome said 10 years ago

    Good luck to all athletes in Vancouver. Love the moon shade watch!

  • sabahnur

    sabahnur said 10 years ago

    cool article!

  • artofjane

    artofjane said 10 years ago

    The Jamaican Bobsledding team rocks!. Ya mon, soon come!!!

  • Dombot

    Dombot said 10 years ago

    Vancouver is a beautiful city, definitely worth a visit... Wish I could see it in the winter!

  • 1AEON

    1AEON said 10 years ago

    Go Canada!!

  • urbanknitfits

    urbanknitfits said 10 years ago

    nice going, love the winter olympics! I think my fav is curling. I have some skier retro winter olympic hats in my shop!

  • Slowshirts

    Slowshirts said 10 years ago

    yay! we're going!

  • dreamyvintage

    dreamyvintage said 10 years ago

    Wonderful post. I love the international community here. I had the chance to meet very creative people from many countries :)

  • VeraVague

    VeraVague said 10 years ago

    I'm going to take this moment to shamelessly promote MR. VAGUE from for Event #4 in the Handmade Olympics. Show some love for boy art!

  • birdie1

    birdie1 said 10 years ago

    So excited for the Winter Olympics!! Thank you for featuring my Vintage Ice Skate Winter Garden - (skates made in Canada!)

  • tippleandsnack

    tippleandsnack said 10 years ago

    I was enjoying reading another great Storque article and then I spied my Canada buttons! What a nice surprise. Thank you for illustrating your story with them.

  • TeesignsDesigns

    TeesignsDesigns said 10 years ago

    Wish I could visit Vancouver!

  • PersistentGreen

    PersistentGreen said 10 years ago

    So exciting! I'm pretty proud of my husband--he just signed up to participate in the Polar Plunge (dunking in veeery cold water in March) to help raise money for the Special Olympics.

  • thestapeliacompany

    thestapeliacompany said 10 years ago

    I love the Olympics, especially winter... Lucky Vancouver folks! :)

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 10 years ago

    Vancouver is such a beautiful city!

  • EJPcreations

    EJPcreations said 10 years ago

    I wish I could go too! How fun!

  • helenaemmans

    helenaemmans said 10 years ago

    Love the silver web picture!

  • melaniefavreau

    melaniefavreau said 10 years ago

    Go Canada!!! :D

  • Gnipmac

    Gnipmac said 10 years ago

    I'm proud to say I'm Canadian! Therefore I'm super excited the olympics are here this year.. Woohoo Canada! Oh and loved the article.

  • thefrayedribbon

    thefrayedribbon said 10 years ago

    Great article, it got me excited for opening ceremonies this Friday! Reading stats on international buyers and sellers was interesting too, thanks! :)

  • slJewellry

    slJewellry said 10 years ago

    Go Canada!! Saw the Olympic torch pass by yesterday - so inspiring! Can't wait for the games to begin!

  • Ebruk

    Ebruk said 10 years ago

    Good luck Canada !!!

  • bysweetmom

    bysweetmom said 10 years ago

    great article

  • undertheroot

    undertheroot said 10 years ago

    Vancouver is one of the dearest towns on this planet!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 10 years ago

    This brought back fond memories of Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards... the UK olympic ski-jumper who consistently came last in just about every event he ever entered! Happy days! I agree with the very first comment... selling IS great, but it's the international friendships made through Etsy that make it so meaningful. I'm sure all the competitors in both sets of games will have a truly life-changing experience whatever level of success they attain.

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 10 years ago

    Great post!

  • nowonder

    nowonder said 10 years ago

    The suport we have here from international community is so great!

  • tomatored

    tomatored said 10 years ago

    very nice article-wonderful city!

  • sammade

    sammade said 10 years ago

    Hooray vancouver!

  • brynnalex

    brynnalex said 10 years ago

    Great article! Thanks. The Olympics are in my back yard this time!

  • Furryville

    Furryville said 10 years ago


  • leathermadenice

    leathermadenice said 10 years ago

    Olympic torch went right past my street. Go Canada!!!

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel said 10 years ago

    we too went out last night to see the torch go by - truly an incredible experience!! i'm conflicted - as an american living in vancouver, i always root american...except for when it comes to hockey!! : )

  • botanicaltheatre

    botanicaltheatre said 10 years ago

    WooHoo BC! Home sweet home!

  • asecondtime

    asecondtime said 10 years ago

    Awesome to have the Olympics so close!

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 10 years ago

    Love the Olympics!

  • sharonclancydesigns

    sharonclancydesigns said 10 years ago

    Love the sock monkey, how cute!!!

  • Maplecreeksoap

    Maplecreeksoap said 10 years ago

    Go Canada!

  • bontonvintage

    bontonvintage said 10 years ago

    Hope the rain holds off for Day #1!! Looking forward to seeing who lights the final torch and watching the Opening Ceremonies. Go Canada Go!

  • dearange

    dearange said 10 years ago

    BC is such a beautiful place, and as a transplant from there I am so proud that they will be hosting the Olympics!!! Go Canada!!!

  • VelveteenHabbit

    VelveteenHabbit said 10 years ago

    I cannot wait to watch opening ceremonies friday night love the birdie1 industrial bulb planters!!!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 10 years ago

    The Olympics hold so much hope for all the athletes. Love the article!

  • MarKhed

    MarKhed said 10 years ago

    Welcome to Canada! I hope you like it here!!!

  • FashionTouch

    FashionTouch said 10 years ago

    Go Canada Team! It is going to be lots of fun!!!

  • slekach

    slekach said 10 years ago

    We're going for a gold on home-soil this year! Can't wait for Patrick Chan and the figure skating!

  • greeneyedgirls

    greeneyedgirls said 10 years ago

    yay! lovely items too! heres a little maple leaf headband we made! CANADA!!!!

  • twoartdirectors

    twoartdirectors said 10 years ago

    Great items! We can't wait for the Olympics!

  • HempWhatNot

    HempWhatNot said 10 years ago

    the plane necklace is RAD!

  • odiliafu

    odiliafu said 10 years ago

    Love this article. I enjoy the friendship and uplifting spirit of the Etsy community.

  • trishafern

    trishafern said 10 years ago

    yea! for the olympics! some of my favorite olympic memorabilia.

  • RoomForCake

    RoomForCake said 10 years ago

    Great article! I love that the Paralympics got a mention too. My sister was in the Beijing Paralympics and I'm a very proud big sister!

  • HandKnitHugs

    HandKnitHugs said 10 years ago

    I am so excited that the Olympics are in Canada, can't wait to watch the opening ceremonies, GO CANADA!

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 10 years ago

    Yay for sports!

  • AudreyGardenLady

    AudreyGardenLady said 10 years ago

    Cool!! Very Cool!!

  • 6catsart

    6catsart said 10 years ago

    I haven't been in downtown Vancouver since things started ramping up but have heard from a friend that the streets have been transformed.

  • shannondzikas

    shannondzikas said 10 years ago

    Way to go Canada! Hello Canadian sock monkey.

  • AnniesWearableArt

    AnniesWearableArt said 10 years ago

    i cannot wait....!!!!

  • GenuineKnits

    GenuineKnits said 10 years ago

    Wow! What a collection! Way to represent Canucks, Folks! :)

  • lifeofcolors

    lifeofcolors said 10 years ago

    Like the Storm Coming painting and the Tree Illustration.

  • Donauluft

    Donauluft said 10 years ago

    Maybe our small country (particulary me) is not a champion in having sales on Etsy, but our alpin ski Team could be good for some great placements.., Donauluft from" AUSTRIA"

  • GothicGlassStudio

    GothicGlassStudio said 10 years ago

    I would love to attend some of the games but tickets are hard to come by. Figure skating would be my first choice! Thought you might enjoy my way of carrying the spirit of the games.[]=tags&includes[]=title

  • GothicGlassStudio

    GothicGlassStudio said 10 years ago

    I would love to attend the games and my first choice would be figure skating.

  • missmoustache

    missmoustache said 10 years ago

    GO Canada GO! So exciting to have the games back in Canada!

  • glassceiling

    glassceiling said 10 years ago

    GO CANADA!! Im so happy the Olymics are being held here. I just went and saw the Olympic torch today it was absolutely AMAZING! I ran beside it for a kilometer!

  • mofunkdesigns

    mofunkdesigns said 10 years ago

    Go Canada Go!

  • saraaires

    saraaires said 10 years ago

    Great article! I'm portuguese and I know my country is not jumping arround with etsyans... I honestly never met a portuguese etsian in flesh and bone! :) Nevertheless, I often check out for portuguese shops, and each time I do so, the number has rised a lot! So , Etsy is really growing, and one can only be thankful for that, because that comunity spirit is really beautiful and encouraging for people to do things and create! So hooray for Etsy!

  • pocketcarnival

    pocketcarnival said 10 years ago

    Great info. BUT, I would love it if you could provide these super interesting and important stats in a way that's easier to read, clearer, and easier to identify I'm browsing the Storque? I'm not interested in the Olympics so I flipped past the article until I saw the link in the Etsy Statistics: January Weather Report article. Cheers, Penny

  • BoosTees

    BoosTees said 10 years ago

    Well done to Canada! But also congrats to the Aussies on posting so many sales from such a small population!

  • muka

    muka said 10 years ago

    Thanks for the comments everyone. As we expand our global business we'll add more international flavor to our weather reports. For now we just wanted to remind everyone how truly global we are as a community. Love the reference to Eddie the Eagle too!

  • BonTons

    BonTons said 10 years ago

    Great read, Go the Aussies!

  • nyjolejewellery

    nyjolejewellery said 10 years ago

    I love this Storque Article, a great read... Go Aussie Aussie.

  • tasifashion

    tasifashion said 10 years ago

    Muka, thank you for the great post! It is nice to hear that our "tiny Israel" holds the first place on sales among non-English speaking countries :-)

  • yifatiii

    yifatiii said 10 years ago

    Go Israel ♥

  • WeeBindery

    WeeBindery said 10 years ago

    Check out my Treasury located in the West Treasury which is titled "Tribute... Love to Strangers and the Olympics" Love this article!

  • ayeletkm

    ayeletkm said 10 years ago

    well done to Israel!!!

  • DvoraSchleffer

    DvoraSchleffer said 10 years ago

    These are interesting facts. So great to see that "tiny Israel" is ranked so high in sales terms in etsy.

  • galit

    galit said 10 years ago

    I think the reason Israelis came to the fourth place is our supporting Israeli community!

  • ravitschwartz

    ravitschwartz said 10 years ago

    Thanks, that is interesting and encouraging as a new israeli at ETSY!

  • arosha

    arosha said 10 years ago

    Thanks for the great post! I love reading Etsy statistics, and was fascinated to find the so tiny Israel in fourth place of the non-US sellers! It should be highly attributed to the strong and supportive Israeli Etsyians community, as Galit wrote

  • gitush

    gitush said 10 years ago

    great post! ISRAEL is on the map!!

  • orlydesign

    orlydesign said 10 years ago

    Congrats to Israel !!!!

  • Resurgence

    Resurgence said 10 years ago

    Thanks for a really good article. It would be great to hear more about international activity.

  • birchbeerboutique

    birchbeerboutique said 10 years ago

    Woo go world! So many of my favorite sellers are from Isreal and I've been wondering how a tallent per square meter statistic would look for that part of the world...probably off the charts. I think if you were to view the numbers from that perspective, Canada would have a lot of catching up to do. ;)

  • lisaroy

    lisaroy said 10 years ago

    woohoo! go Canada!

  • sleepymoondesign

    sleepymoondesign said 10 years ago

    I live in Vancouver! The Olympics have been great so far! It reminds me of what I like most about selling on etsy and that is being able to reach someone all the way across the world and have them want to wear a piece of jewellery that I made! :)

  • acageybee

    acageybee said 10 years ago

    Oh wow! I had no idea that the international community had grown so much, both buyers & sellers. I live in Vancouver & can't afford tickets for any of the big events, but there are so many free concerts & festivities that it's been a blast so far. Warm, sunny & no snow - great for visitors, but not so good for the events. Doh!

  • idlehandsdesigns

    idlehandsdesigns said 10 years ago

    High fives to our neighbors up north! Thanks to all that support our community ::) Lyndsay

  • Scallyrags

    Scallyrags said 10 years ago

    Go Canada!

  • PrairieGarden

    PrairieGarden said 10 years ago

    VERY interesting and entertaining :-)

  • stitchybritt

    stitchybritt said 10 years ago

    Congratulations Canada, UK and all my fellow 'down-under' countrymen and women. Umm, slight typo in the tags though - Muka, I think you've accidentally listed Australia as Austria. Unfortunately our chocolate isn't as good, but man, can we craft! ; )

  • jenAitchison

    jenAitchison said 10 years ago

    This is a great article! I love Etsy for the same things that I love about the Olympic games. I have had the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world in the year that I have been on Etsy with my shops. I never would have thought as a child that I would be making something for somebody's wedding on the other side of the world. It certainly has reinforced in me, the notion that we are one small world of humans.

  • BitOknitting

    BitOknitting said 10 years ago

    I love the olympics,, expecially the x-country skiing

  • dibabeads

    dibabeads said 10 years ago

    Ha HA .. Love this article !! Go Canada .. we are definitely in Olympic fever here in Canada .. looks like in our shopping too :)

  • RockArtiste

    RockArtiste said 10 years ago

    I LOVE Canada. Very friendly people. And a next door neighbor to my state. There are some very creative people out there in the world. Thank Etsy for making it possible to find them.

  • BitOknitting

    BitOknitting said 10 years ago

    I love the olympics, especially the x-country skiing.

  • sakizome

    sakizome said 10 years ago

    The best part of being part of the Etsy community is the amazing buyers and sellers I have met from all over the world. What a thrill!

  • benoitdesigns

    benoitdesigns said 10 years ago

    Ya know, it seems like whenever I'm browsing around, I always land in a bunch of cool international shops. It's like taking a quick mini trip around the world!

  • CraftinaT

    CraftinaT said 10 years ago

    It's very exciting to have the Olympics in our home town!!!!!

  • CraftinaT

    CraftinaT said 10 years ago

    P.S. Check out my winter athletes in my shop

  • hdunstan

    hdunstan said 10 years ago

    canada just won another gold for woman's speed skating today! woo am loving the olympics. so much canadian love and energy and zooberant feelings! go canada go!

  • joyelizabethceramics

    joyelizabethceramics said 10 years ago

    Way to go Canada! I loved this article and all my international buyers!

  • BellaDaze

    BellaDaze said 10 years ago

    Informative and just plain fun info - I love how etsy instantly connects me to the international handmade community. Ideas and talent everywhere! Etsy you make the world smaller and oh so much better . . . ; )

  • LavenderField

    LavenderField said 10 years ago

    Good job Canada! Do you think Cyprus might be even mentioned sometime? ;0) I love being an Etsian!!!

  • pollyputsthekettleon

    pollyputsthekettleon said 10 years ago

    I have to say, it's very heartening to read that even though we are not in the US we are still able to be successful sellers!

  • quirkybeauty

    quirkybeauty said 10 years ago

    Yay Canada!


    ARTGLASSENDEAVORS said 10 years ago

    Being part of a global community is awe inspiring!!! So excited about this marketplace. Happy trails to all...

  • elemegibere

    elemegibere said 10 years ago


  • SmoreGasBored

    SmoreGasBored said 10 years ago

    I love looking at where the artist comes from - it gives me more of the feeling that I know them.

  • OpusMuse

    OpusMuse said 10 years ago

    As an international seller, it's good to know that Etsy is reaching beyond it's birthplace & broadening horizons on handmade lives

  • ModernHomewares

    ModernHomewares said 10 years ago

    Some of my fondest memories are from my visit to Canada - the crisp smell of the snow and the sound of it crunching under my feet. Such a beautiful country - thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  • heatbria

    heatbria said 10 years ago

    Congratulations Canada for your first gold medal in your home country!

  • pasin

    pasin said 10 years ago

    Great Ä°nfo

  • etincellestudio

    etincellestudio said 10 years ago

    Wouahh! that is impressive! I would have thought of UK or Australia for the gold medal... good job Canada! I am glad to hear that France is also doing so well... it means I should concentrate on my own country to market my items!

  • JoyofCrystals

    JoyofCrystals said 10 years ago

    Yes the Olympic spirit is alive and well from the West Coast to the East Coast where I am. Go Canada!! Thank you Etsy for connecting Etsians to the world!! :)

  • pasin

    pasin said 10 years ago

    Very cool

  • handmadeinisrael

    handmadeinisrael said 9 years ago

    I am delighted that 'tiny' Israel has put herself on the map!

  • IrinaArtSmi

    IrinaArtSmi said 9 years ago

    Very nice !!!

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