Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pride
















It's been a bit since I've blogged, I admit I'm slacking right now. Not that I'm by any means healed or have run out of things to say, I have just been so caught up in something so foreign and odd to me it's been overwhelming. I'm sure you may be wondering just what the heck I'm talking about and I know it's going to sound bizarre but here goes....

Right now, at this time in my life I am experiencing pride and love for my country, my province and the city of Vancouver (which we called home while waiting for our twins), our athletes and the Olympic games. As most Canadians, I have lacked that sense of Rah Rah!!! patriotism we often find bizarre in our American friends. Truthfully, the Canadian sense of patriotism is at best ambivalent most of the time, most of us while appreciative of our country don't get too excited at the singing of the national anthem or puff out our chests in pride at the mention of our flag. The usual attitude in Canada can mostly be described as ..."Oh well....". No great enthusiasm, no strong feelings of love for the soil we stand on, no excitement over all things Canadian, except maybe our beer which we find superior to that of our southerly neighbours. To me, Canadian patriotism can best be described as "intellectual" as opposed to "emotional". While we KNOW we are so lucky to live in this great melting pot of a nation and that we are FORTUNATE to have the freedoms and tolerances we are so well known for, that sense of knowing comes with a sense of detachment. As a country, we DON'T get overly patriotic, perhaps it's because we are too polite to pick up our pom poms, make a scene and yell, "Yay Canada!" I have often giggled at the enthusiasm of our American friends who mist up during the Star Spangled Banner, who tout the American pride with their flag waving, anthem singing and their deep convictions about their homeland. But this week, that all has changed...I have been mesmerized by the games, caught up in a feeling of national pride unlike any other I have felt before. Suddenly it all makes sense to me and I too have that swelling in my chest that makes me long to run into the streets of Vancouver waving my flag and wearing my maple leaf. It's been eye opening and emotional and wonderful having the games here in my home province. I am so proud to be a Canadian right now. I am so proud of my country and the city of Vancouver. I am in AWE of our athletes, especially our WOMEN athletes who have captured eleven and a half out of the fifteen medals we have won so far (the half being Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir ice dance champions). That is SO amazing!!! Our women rock.

So I admit, I've been glued to the television for the last week and a half since the Olympic games started. I've discovered a passion inside myself for the spirit of competition, the joy of victory, the breathlessness of wondering if the athlete representing your country can find it in themselves to pull out the best performance of their life under all the pressure to succeed. I see the dancing and celebrations in the streets and wish with all my heart I was there celebrating this little bit of history too. Because I'm not there right now, my butt is wearing holes in my side of the sectional as I sit for hours flipping between arial skiing, hockey, speedskating and ice dance. I fly my Olympic flag from my minivan as I run about town getting snacks and supplies to last as we cheer on our athletes from the comfort of our livingroom. I held my breath as our hometown girl and friend of my husband, Kristi Richards went all out during the women's moguls and then wept when she fell and finished dead last. I was so disappointed for her yet so proud. She displayed the heart of a champion as she got up, dusted herself off and while knowing her dreams of a medal were over, finished her jump with a spectacular trick that made us cheer. Forget the polite murmurings of "Well done", instead we drink our Molson Canadian and yell loudly at the set, jumping up and down when we score or win or just miss the podium. For the first time in my life I am puffing my chest, getting misty at the national anthem and waving my flag. I'm Canadian and I'm proud. I bristle when reading the complaints of other countries, the British who say the games are a debolicle that won't take any effort to top and could our weather be any more miserable? Really, the British think OUR weather is miserable??? Lol... The American snowboarding team who felt we had sacrificed style for performance in our tight snowboarding pants. Hmm, looking good, or winning....??? Really??? Ryan Kessler, the American hockey player who plays for THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS stating that he "Hates Canadians, they always have something to prove...". Umm, exuse me, you play for our franchise, we pay you your millions of dollars to play our sport...do I take offense to this? Hell yes, these our our games. Hockey is our sport. There is nothing wrong with proclaiming ownership of something we do so well. We give the world their soccer, baseball, even basketball which was invented in Canada. Please, we say politely as we pass the apple pie, "Just give us our hockey and the right to be loud and proud for once in our lives." I'm sure we will go back to being the quiet, ambivalent, tolerant nation the world expects us to be once these Olympics are over but for now we wave our flags, wear our maple leafs and take pride in our love of hockey and beer. Even Oprah loves our mittens... Go Canada!!!

8 comments:

  1. I'm not from Canada, but I have to admit your beer IS good! :) I'm glad you've been able to enjoy the Olympic games! It must be so much fun being where they are!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Go Canada Go! We can't get enough of the Olympics this time around too. There is something to be said for our Country hosting.

    Canadian Women's Hockey team won tonight! We can kick ass!

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Canadian beer does rock, but as a Massachusetts resident I'm partial to Sam Adams. ;) I'm loving the Olympics too, I can't get enough of them either!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey - where'd my comment go? I did comment earlier. Just to say, YAY Canada. I love the beer, but also, I've always had a special place in my heart for Vancouver due to a certain little world's fair I went to in 1986! :) You should be proud. LOVE THIS OLYMPICS! (as you know!)

    ReplyDelete
  5. It is wild and I am glad to be experiencing it in a small way. I am a very reserved person usually and while I am still not jumping up and down myself I am at least not telling my husband not to anymore! I love that photo of the rings.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for your sweet words and comfort on my blog. I cherish them.

    Love,
    Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm loving the your Olympics as well...and thinking of you every night we watch the recap.

    ReplyDelete