Monday, February 22, 2010

Proud To Be...

I think it's safe to say that I am completely consumed by the Olympics. I am admittedly an Olympic-junkie. (Especially when it comes to the Winter Games).

And then this year, the Olympics are here in Canada, in the beautiful city of Vancouver (which I love). There have been a number of great moments for Canadians during these games so far (I think particularly of Alexandre Bilodeau - the first Canadian athlete to win gold for Canada in Canada). There have also been a number of letdowns: athletes projected to win gold who could not make the podium, etc. Last night's hockey game is a good example of nation-wide disappointment. To be honest I really felt that our players outplayed the American players, but that the American goaltender outplayed our goaltender. Bottom line: Miller was hot, Brodeur was not.

I could really appreciate the Americans who handled their win with grace. Of course then there were the obligatory few who displayed perfectly why much of the world thinks Americans are arrogant/selfish/ignorant (though most of the Americans I know are not). But for the most part I think the win was handled well - perhaps even better than us Canadians handled the loss (even if it's because the majority of Americans couldn't care less about the sport). :)

Despite the number of disappointments Canadians have had thus far, every day I turn on that TV and my heart swells with pride to be Canadian. This is an incredible nation and I almost feel a sense of relief that I am able to call it home. I've been to many different countries and perhaps I'm biased, but there is a certain freshness, a particular atmosphere within this place that I've been unable to find replicated elsewhere. No matter where I go I'm always so proud to have that Canadian flag sewn to my backpack and to let people know where I'm from. There may be times when I get the urge to live in a different country for awhile, occasions when I yearn for travel and new experiences, but I'm well aware that there is so much to explore in my own massive nation. I remember so well the feeling of leaving Korea and touching down in Vancouver to breathe Canadian air for the first time in a year. I don't know that there is a word to describe it, but the closest thing I can come up with is: heavenly.

And can I just say that I'm so happy Quebec is a part of Canada? In large part because I have been a Habs fan for all my life (it wasn't like I just thought it up one day - I was born and raised cheering for them) and the percentage of our athletes that come from Quebec has been duly noted as well. What's more, though, is that I really feel like Quebec's rich history and culture makes our country's history and culture that much richer.

I could go on, and maybe I will at some point. But I guess what I'm saying is no matter how many Olympic events we lose and even if we walked out of the games with NO medals, those of us who call this amazing nation home should hold our heads high and be proud that we have been afforded the privilege of being born Canadian.

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