Perhaps I will eventually record all my 2013 travel stories… the 2014 stories will be beginning soon so we’ll have to see which year produces better stories… my insane let’s see if I can still work 7 days a week and survive a 100 hour work week period is finally drawing to a close for a few months so hoping to add some stories to the blog… my survival mechanism to the relentless work schedule for the past couple of weeks though has been to listen – and occasionally pop my head up for the replay – to CBC Winter Olympics coverage…. Conveniently it has been on in an almost 24/7 schedule that matches my work hours 😉
The last Winter Olympics was in my hometown. It was a mad festival where we shook our image as being no-fun and danced in the streets, waved paper Canadian flags as we cheered on athletes in public squares and sometimes spontaneously sang the national anthem in crowded restaurants.
It was a time of magic and watching the incredible Crosby goal in the public park across from my apartment with thousands of other patriots will always be one of those incredible life moments that you will never forget. Fourteen gold medals! The most ever won in a Winter Olympics. And, for Canadians, of course the important gold medal – Olympic hockey. Apparently the entire nation shut down biting their nails – there was a stat that almost no one went to the bathroom across Canada while the game was on…
And now we have another shot at it. I will be staying up until 4am. If we’re lucky, it will be less nail biting… maybe we can have a game like the Finns… the women already gave us enough drama this Olympics 🙂
It’s different this time. The city is a lot quieter and everyone isn’t talking about the latest Canadian performance. No incredible cultural events to check out.
At first I was worried I might not care. But I witnessed practically every Canadian medal live on TV in 2010 so this time I know many of the athletes and have some favourites I had to watch.
There were new heroes – and repeat performances that left you breathless. But we didn’t win as many gold medal as in 2010 so it seemed more Canadian. A little less chest thumping – but the athletes did us proud and, while people weren’t dancing down Granville Street, I am sure there was dancing and cheering in pubs and living rooms.
This is my third obsessive watching of the Olympic games and I think watching a lot changes one’s perspective. It’s wonderful when a Canadian wins a gold medal but I was equally jazzed by watching Tessa and Scott win silver. And Denny Morrison’s silver medals? Probably more heartwarming than any of the golds.
I have been working at an Olympian level while I mostly listen to the games in the background so it has likely given me additional perspective. My heart always goes out to the 4th or 5th performance. The pomp and circumstance is much lesser – but you are one of the top five people in your given sport. How astonishing is that?
It’s hard not to get caught up in the competitive nature of the country medal count, often conveniently listed by gold or by total count depending on which version will make your country seem more impressive. But what always makes me teary during the Olympics is the back story, the personal achievements, the hardships overcome.
When I started watching this year, I was worried that all the crass commercialism that has crept into the Olympic circus might turn me off and I would switch the channel. But, somehow, the athletes manage to shine through the advertising and the sponsorships and make you care about the values sport can teach us – perseverance, dedication, mastery, hard work, good sportsmanship, team spirit.
I am a dreamer, a geek, an intellectual… definitely NOT an ATHLETE. But I respect what they do and am inspired by them to take the values they bring to sport to my everyday life. The colour of the medal is not the important thing. Not even winning a medal. The important thing is to hone your life skills to the point that a gold medal is a possibility – even if you aren’t an Olympic athlete and no one is going to give you a gold medal. If you live your life as though your actions could earn you an Olympic gold medal, you will feel as though you have stepped on the podium and heard your national anthem played as the crowd cheered. It’s not about the medal… it’s about living to the height of your potential…