Oh, Canada! Time for some true, patriot love at the Olympics
The countdown is on.
As I type this, there are 17 days and two hours left until the 2012 Summer Games opening ceremonies in London. The only way I can express my excitement is smashing my keyboard and spewing out a trail of vowels that donít actually form intelligible words, but I will refrain.
The Olympics Games are one of my favourite sporting spectacles, and this yearís competition is no different.
The lead up to London has led me to reflect on Vancouver and the 2010 Games. Itís hard to believe it was already two-and-a-half years ago.
It feels like it ended yesterday. It was the first Games hosted on Canadian soil that Iíve been alive for and the experience was extraordinary.
I wasnít able to see the Games live, unfortunately. I was knee deep in school, so when I was in class, live streaming the events on my laptop became my best friend. The rest of my free time was spent holed up in my dorm room and parked in front of my TV.
Itís hard to explain, but I have never felt a deeper connection to sports or to Canada than I did during those two weeks. Those days have become some of the most memorable of my life.
People always ask the question: where were you?
Where were you when the planes hit the World Trade Center? When Princess Diana died? When JFK was assassinated?
In the aftermath of Vancouver, everyone was asking the same questions. Where were you when Alexander Bilodeau won Canadaís first gold medal on home soil? When Jon Montgomery took a victory lap with a pitcher of beer in his hand? When Sidney Crosby scored the ďgolden goal?Ē Two years later, I can still remember, in bold clarity, where I was for some of the most memorable moments of the Games. Thatís saying a lot for a woman who canít remember what she had for breakfast most days.
Canada surprised a lot of people that February, perhaps no one more than us Canadians. Not only did we exceed our expectations on the ice and in the mountains, but in the streets of Vancouver and across the country.
The Olympic fever was infectious and the country came alive with patriotism and pride.
I sincerely hope that excitement and level of support replicates itself in a couple of weeks when our athletes compete in London.
While winter sports seem to be our forte, we have some of the most elite summer Olympians in the world. One is from right here in Airdrie.
I recently had the chance to interview Earle Connor, a paralympian and Airdrie resident, who is chasing his third gold medal in London.
In terms of inspirational people Iíve interviewed, he ranks at the top of the list. Before talking with him, I wouldnít have made an effort to watch the Paralympics, which runs a few weeks after the Games, but he proves watching athletes achieve their biggest dreams is thrilling no matter how many limbs they have.
Legendary hockey coach Herb Brooks once said, ďGreat moments are born from great opportunity.Ē
Thatís what Connor and the rest of Team Canada have in front of them. Those moments become part of history, which is what I love about the Olympics. And Brian Williams, the CTV anchor. I love Brian Williams. The day that man retires will be a sad, sad day in our country.
Good luck to Connor and the rest of our athletes. We, and the rest of the Canada, will be watching. Make us proud.