Saturday, February 20, 2010

Go Canada Go!

Olympic fever has taken hold of this country, and I am shocked to admit that indeed, it has taken hold of me too! I cannot remember EVER being this interested in the Olympic games - or any sporting events for that matter. My husband is hooked too, which is also unusual as sports really aren’t his thing either. But there we were watching the opening ceremonies along with most other Canadians, cheering as Team Canada entered the building. Now I will admit that we were watching the ceremonies less for the athletes and more for the entertainment value, however, the excitement of that night led us to turn the TV on the following morning to see what events were up first. And we have continued to turn the games on every day to see what sports are competing, to watch recaps of events we missed during the day and to check how our medal count is going.

I find myself enthralled by the “Difference Makers” stories that CTV are airing which feature behind the scenes life stories about various Canadian athletes. It is quite possible that I would have missed Alexandre Bilodeau winning Canada’s first gold medal on home soil if I hadn’t caught the Difference Maker story featuring him and his older brother - and hero - Frederic who lives with Cerebral Palsy. The story was a beautiful one and made me want to cheer Alex on as he got his shot at Olympic glory. To be honest, I had no idea what a mogul even was when I turned the coverage on! But I found myself clapping and cheering out loud as he went down that insanely bumpy hill and into Canadian Olympic history books. What can I say - I’m a sucker for a sweet story.

My husband has pointed out a few times that my interest in certain sports or athletes seems to have a direct correlation to their cuteness factor (as I stop to think about that a little, I haven’t really watched many women’s events…hmmm). And it’s probably true - really there is no use in denying it. But the fact is, these guys are also incredible athletes so if they’re cute, that’s really just a side bonus! And they’ve opened my eyes to the discipline, dedication and effort that goes into sports like speed skating (Apolo Ohno…oh my), snowboarding (am I the only one who didn’t know this was a real sport?), moguls (you know, if he wasn’t an arrogant ass, that Canadian guy posing as an Australian could be cute) and of course, hockey (if only those players still had their REAL teeth!).

I found myself moved enough by these games to go on the hunt for those now iconic red mittens that everyone seems to be wearing. I’m not usually the type to go for those ‘have to have’ items, but these just looked adorable and warm…and they give me a great excuse to wear mittens instead of gloves. They’ll look fabulous as they keep me toasty through the rest of this chilly winter.

So as week one winds down, and week two begins, I’m sure my television will continue to be tuned to CTV as they cover the triumphs and defeats our athletes face. I hope that the tragedy and controversy that has overshadowed the games thus far dies down because these athletes deserve to have everyone’s attention focused on their big moments – for many this will be their only shot. I, for one, will be keeping my fingers crossed that every athlete, no matter where they are from or who they are representing, leave the games feeling happy with their performance – whether there is a medal around their neck or not – because they are all living a dream that most of us can’t even comprehend.


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