Friday, March 05, 2010


Note: I am bursting with happiness with the Olympics, how they went and being Canadian right now, so hence this really random post.

When this ad came out in 2000, it rallied the whole country. The ad talked about what we aren't, but really talked about what we are. It spurned countless versions, parodies and copycats. Everyone knew the words. It made Canadian swell with pride. While Canadian don't wear patriotism on their sleeve as much as their neighbours down south, there are a lot of things we stand for and are proud.

As a Canadian, it was a common occurrence to hear "You're just a little America." Its typical Canadian response to point out how we are different (and better). At the Olympics this year, I think the world understood what Canadians are about.

Over the last two weeks, even though I couldn't attend, I could feel the Canadian love and pride. There is something about the Olympics. For the last two Olympics, even though I can't see streaming live videos, I follow them through various news channel. Initially, there were the reports that this could be the worst Olympics ever with its long list of mishaps and obstacles. But Canada emerged from the underestimation to show it spirit. As the Vancouver Olympics unfolded, my Canadian spirit began to bubble over. Not because we set a record for gold medal count in Winter Olympics or won the hockey gold, but because of stories of Canadian hospitality, courage in the face of adversity and spirit and drive of the athletes.

The Vancouver Games are being considered by many as the best Winter Games from a spectator perspective. The hockey arena was packed with cheering fans for games between teams that were in no contention for medals. But it wasn't just hockey, there was immense public support for all events. Everyone from the media to people who attended are talking about how friendly and welcoming Canadians are. Its great to see that so many people go to experience the warmth that I have known for my whole life. I think it was summarized best at the closing ceremonies by the IOC president that he had "never seen a city embrace the Games in this way." I wouldn't say city, but country.

The spirit of Terry Fox was very much alive in the Olympics. Stories like that of Georgian team competing after such a loss, Rochette skating flawlessly in the wake of the her mother's death and the lesser known story of Majdic winning a medal with broken ribs and punctured lung demonstrate so many positive qualities that humans embody.

I love reading stories of different Olympians. Its inspirational to see people so focused and committed to excellence.

There are many against the Olympics, especially when you consider the amount of money and energy that goes into them. But there are also priceless moments of hope, inspiration, triumph that emerge from them. I don't know of many ways that you can get an entire nation together, coast to coast and around the world, in a swarm of red and white, aside from sports.

There is just something about the Olympics and it was made all the more special this time around because of the all-embracing atmosphere that was created.

Going to the Olympics in on my list, but I think its going to be hard to find one that would've been as awesome as Vancouver 2010.

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