It's been a great week or so, for a number of reasons. One is that I am thoroughly enjoying the Olympics. I am the world's best band wagon jumper, and if nothing else, the Olympics is the mecca for that kind of thing.
Yeah, sure - there's been some hiccups. Major awkward moment when the gods of hydraulics exited BC Place and five great Canadians stood frozen in uncomfortable silence (kudos to Nancy Greene for her waving skills). And yes, the enviro-green ice cleaners broke down at the speed skating ring and the carbon footprint was annihilated when they airlifted the Zamboni from Calgary to save the day (David Suzuki weeps). And yeah, it's WARM (sorry, but how is that our fault?) But at the end of the day, none of that matters.
None of that mattered when Alexandre Bilodeau finished his gold medal ski and hugged his parents and declared his brother his own personal hero. My red-blooded Canadian heart was busting with pride when he got up on the podium and waved that gold medal. And god, the shoot out at the end of the Canadian/Switzerland hockey game...seriously. I was shouting, yelling, peering through my fingers and nearly fell off the couch in relief when sweet Sidney Crosby came through in blazing maple leaf style.
And let's talk about the unbridled joy and fantastic spirit of Jon Montgomery, practically shouting the national anthem from the medal podium, while his mom and dad watched in tears from the crowd. I'm not a parent but I can only imagine the explosive pride and love parents must feel, watching their child getting a medal in front of an adoring nation.
And other moments - Kristie Richards, falling on her freestyle skiing run, but getting up, putting on her skis and doing the final jump anyway in front of a roaring crowd. Or the quiet defeat of the Hamelin brothers, shut out in the 1000m final while silver medalist Melanie St. Gelais sobbed in the stands as she watched. It's watching dreams come true, or watching them slip just out of reach - it's the power of the emotion that encompasses the Olympics that keeps me riveted.
I've got Olympic gloves and shirt (not the one in the picture - but how cool would that be?) that I'm going to wear tonight when I go to the pub and cheer on our boys in their game against the US. And I want a Canada jacket, and a Canada scarf and and and...hey, when did I become so patriotic?
Perhaps that's the best thing about these Olympics - seeing everyone so proudly wearing their flag and Canadian gear, seeing the throngs of people cheering, roaring and celebrating our country. We need to remember the pride that we're feeling, the feeling of unity...and celebrate our country together more.
For now, I need to get back to watching the CAN/US women's curling match. HURRY...HARD!!