People have said it before, and they’ll say it again, Canadians are the kind of people who have a quiet, patriotic pride for their country. They love their country, yes, but they won’t stand up on a soap box and preach about why the country is better than yours the way our neighbors to the South have a tendency to do. As much as we love Americans at times, there are others when we don’t understand them. Why are they so different from us? They came from the same collection of original countries that we did, the lands we have are similar in many ways, we speak the same language, and yet, at times, it feels like we are dealing with an alien race when we talk to Americans. They are proud, arrogant at times, and they start wars when Canadians want to keep the peace. We love our neighbors, we do, but the same way we love that strange relative we have, who is so different from the rest of the family. They’re related to us, so of course we love them, but we don’t always understand them, or agree with them.
That all changed for me from the time I started watching the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. They awoke in me a sense of pride, wonder, and happiness to be able to call myself a Canadian. The opening ceremonies were beautiful, and they displayed the heritage of a country that is rich in it. Watching our Aboriginal people dance, to watching Ashley Mcisaac tell that fiddle who’s boss while hundreds of people jigged below, I was proud that my country was the home of so much diversity. The games taking place in Vancouver means all these amazing things are only about 100km away from me right now. And that closeness makes me giddy with excitement.
I can’t put it into words how thrilled I am to see how well Canada is doing. Yes, I know, we pale in comparison to the medals the States has won, but for Canada, I think we’re doing a pretty damned good job. We have a lot of very talented and skilled athletes, and even though it’s disappointing sometimes to watch our athletes slip from the podium positions, I am amazed when I look at the actual times they are making. We are often losing by hundredths, and even thousandths of a second. This is not a game of who is good and who isn’t, because they are all good, but a game of who can shave those fractions of a second off their time, and who can’t. In ladies skeletons for instance, we took 5th place, which was only about a second or so off the the time of the gold medalist. And in mens skeletons, we won by two one hundredths of a second. Two one hundredths!
Canada’s people are starting to feel what I’m feeling, this deep-buried pride for our country. We are looking around us more and seeing the real beauty of the place where we live. Those snow-covered mountains, the prairies, the Labrador coast, these are not sights that every country can boast. We are lucky to have this beauty around us, and a government that strives to preserve it for the generations to come.
So whether we win gold, silver, bronze, or even nothing, I think the Olympics has restored a love and faith in our country that had been lacking for a long time. Go Canada! Our home, and native land!