15 February 2010

Olympic fever

I can remember the 1988 Calgary Olympics almost as if they happened yesterday. I was a young girl going on seven years of age, completely glued to my television, both transfixed and inspired by our Canadian athletes. It was the first time I recall feeling an immense sense of pride in being Canadian; it was also what would eventually inspire me to take years of figure skating lessons. My parents have Elizabeth Manley to thank for countless early morning practices, numerous pairs of skates and show dresses.

While twenty two years have passed since those memorable Calgary games, my love and enthusiasm for the Olympics has not waned over time. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I found out the 2010 games would be back to Canadian soil; I was even happier when I discovered that I would also be on maternity leave during said games. Not surprisingly, I have kitted Drew out in Olympic finery and we spend a good deal of our days within sight or earshot of the television so that I can keep up to speed on all the latest medal standings.

I’m not sure why I’m such an Olympic junkie but I still feel like that spellbound little seven-year-old when I see one of our athletes win a medal or see the Canadian flag hanging over a podium. In many ways, it’s refreshing to simply celebrate the athletic achievements of the country rather than focus on the usual negative stories and headlines that fill the news. One other aspect that I enjoy is that the Olympics tend to break down the typical regional silos and rivalries that we Canadians are so found of; it’s nice to celebrate and focus on the collective for a change.

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