I love my country!
I was born of this country, I was raised here and, in all likelihood, I will die here. I proudly wave my nation’s flag every day; but even more so when the world gathers so that young – and some not so young – athletes can compete against one another for Olympic glory.
Truth be told, I’m far more interested in the winter games than in the summer games. As much as I love water sports and watching extremely svelte athletes chase each other around a track, there just isn’t as much excitement – for me – in the track and field stuff. Oh sure, there’s diving and swimming and rowing (canoeing and kayaking too), but unless I’m the one doing that particular activity, I really don’t get much out of watching it on television. I really am more of a winter sport girl… could be because of my Nordic heritage (I’m ¼ Fin) or it could be because I’m a 6th generation Canadian (on me mum’s side, on dad’s side it’s only three generations). Either way, I do like the white stuff and, for me, the sports are far more exciting.
Let’s have a rundown shall we:
- There’s the good ol’ hockey game (it’s the best game you can name, and we invented it)
- skiing (not invented by us, but holy bejebus it’s fun)
- bob sleigh, luge and skeleton (all really just grown up and much faster versions of tobogganing)
- figure skating (nothing like hockey but can be very exciting – especially the pairs free skate)
- and speed skating (particularly the team pursuit, it’s like roller derby on ice)
- snowboarding with all its gnarly jumps and rails and half pipes and holy-shit-did-you-see-that
- the ski and board cross are incredibly intense to watch (also taking their cue from roller derby me thinks)
- I cringe when I watch the mogul competitions (do they get free orthopedic surgery with the gold medal?), but WOW, totally impressive
- the aerial competitions blow my freaking mind! How the frack do they know when to put their feet down with all those twists and turns and tucks and pikes? (This is how I see things turning out for me if I tried to compete in that sport – off the jump and its snow-sky-tuck-snow-sky-twist-snow-sky-splat – for realz)
It’s not that I don’t support our athletes in the summer Olympics, I do. I just don’t get excited about most of the sports. But let me tell you this – every time one of our amazing athletes wins a gold medal (in any sport) and I see them standing there on that podium with pride in their hearts and tears in their eyes, and I hear our national anthem and see that beautiful flag raise, well, I cries like a wee baby I do.
I don’t know these people, these incredibly talented athletes who, at the expense of everything else in their lives, train relentlessly year-in and year-out to have one shot at Olympic glory – the gold standard for national pride in sports. They are my countrymen and I am so unbelievably proud of them.