I always thought the reason I felt so great around the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics was because the games took place on our land. However, following the Sochi games in the last few weeks was as inspiring, even though they were 5,954 miles away.
I am not a big sports fan and I definitely don’t follow the curling or hockey leagues. However, when the Canadian women Curling team beat Sweden in the gold medal game, I was moved to tears. And, when the Canadian women hockey team was down 0-2 against the USA at the end of the second quarter my heart sunk. But when these extraordinary women turned the tables around and won 3-2 to get the gold medal, it seemed like all Canadians were jumping and screaming with joy. Perhaps I am making too much of it, but that victory was about much more than merely winning the gold medal. It was an example of how true unity, passion and perseverance of a team can create miracles.
CBC did a great job ‘humanizing’ our athletes by sharing their personal, and in many cases brave injury-ridden journeys to the Olympics. So, when one of them won a competition or medal we all felt like our own flesh and blood was winning.
There were so many inspiring moments throughout the games. I can’t possibly mention all of them. It started on day three when the Dufour-Lapointe sisters won our first gold and silver medals in the same competition. And Gilmore Junio who gave up his spot in the speed skating team to his teammate Denny Morrison, which afforded us an unexpected bronze medal. That type of generous team spirit could only have happened in Canada. And, the icing on the cake was of course the men’s hockey victory. First their inspiring semi final game against the USA, won by sheer teamwork, determination and persistence. And then their gold win against Sweden, continuing their semi-final momentum.
I immigrated to Canada twenty-one years ago, and always felt that Canada is my home. However, in the last few weeks that sense of belonging and identity became even more pronounced and significant, as I witnessed Canadians throughout the country passionately come together as one big national team, to cheer and support our athletes.
The reason I wanted to write this blog about Sochi is simply because – I am proud to be a Canadian.