I Am Canadian

Hey, I am not a hockey player, or a Mountie, or a Polar Bear. I don't live on tundra, or fish with a harpoon, or own a skidoo. I have never been to the Maritimes, or the Yukon, or the Northwest Territories, though I hope to go someday. I have lived in places where -30 degrees is warming up, and I loved each winter of it. I have worn my flag proudly on 4 of the continents of our world, knowing full well that once people know I am Canadian they assume I am polite and gentle. Most of the time they are right. Most of the time 'I'm Sorry' is the right thing to say, so I say it often. A toque is a hat! And I like toques, and miss the many opportunities to wear one that growing up in the cold provided. Canada is huge, and awesome, and I have never been so happy to call it home. My name is Andrew and I am Canadian!

Had to get it out. I am Canadian, and proud of it. The thing is, while that's always been true, my pride, as with most Canadians, has been a subdued sort of abstract pride. Now, coming to the end of the Olympics, it's different, and I am merely one of millions of Canadians experiencing this same new sensation.

As the Olympics close, I think I have three posts I want to write; I thought I would start with the obvious. So, let me tell you about these games and I.

Growing up, I can vaguely remember watching minimal highlights of the Oympics, and wondering briefly at the end of the games what the medal count was and how we had done this year. Probably because I have never had the time nor the technology, I have never paid a lot of attention. When I was young, I didn't get it. As I grew up I was always a full time student, up until the 2010 winter games (and let me say right now that I am still not sure I care about the summer Olympics, so lets not even go there), and so I didn't have the time to watch. Without a PVR recording them was never a viable option, and without decent internet, streaming them wasn't either. I know, woe is me. As sad as all this may sound if you are coming out of a similar experience of these Olympics as I am, the fact is that it never bothered me. I never felt like I was missing anything.

This year has been different. The beginning was the obvious and unavoidable fact that I live in Vancouver, home of the 2010 Olympics. The games are automatically more exciting when they are here. Not only that, but I had the chance to take part in lots of free activities around the Olympics, which has never been true for me before. And EVERYONE is wearing those shirts/jerseys/jackets/sweaters/etc. For two weeks I haven't been able to walk around without seeing our flag or the name of our country everywhere. I can't wait for July 1st; everyone is going to be pre-outfitted for the day. We went downtown, saw the sites, went to the houses, served hot chocolate. My wife got to go to a medal ceremony on "wintastic wednesday," and life is good.

Finally, I think that this year I get sports. I am 27; its taken long enough I suppose, but it had to happen one day. With that in mind, I PVR'd every hour of every day of the Olympics on CTV. Not the recaps and stuff that goes on all night, but the events, all day. That's 14 hours of TV per day, in HD no less. Each day, if I couldn't watch them live, I would get home and flick through to the events of the day until I got to the actual competitions (often skipping the qualifiers and quarter/semi-finals; I needed to sleep after all). I saw numerous medals live; those I didn't see live, I made sure to watch from the recordings (yes, I watched Canada win EVERY medal they got this year). I watched all of Canada's Hockey games from the final game of the round robin, until the golden goal of Sidney Crosby in OT. I watched most of the curling matches, both men and women. And on Sunday, I spent the entire day with my family, watching hockey and then the closing ceremonies (and could I ever write about those! How much more Canadian can you get than to close by making fun of our own major blunder that took place just two weeks prior in the opening ceremonies?)

What an amazing two weeks. No better way to finish it than by break a world record, eh?


I grew up going to conferences and rallies with the church, and right now I feel a lot like I do after one of those. I'm coming down from a high that took me places I had never been before; I am desperately clinging to what has already slipped through my fingers like sand. I wonder how many others will feel, or do feel, the same way? That's for my next post though.


Linda said...

agreed. how can one not get excited. I have never followed hockey as much as I have.

Andrew said...

Me neither. You should have seen Kristina :) She was getting excited, and nervous, and every time the puck got near Luongo I think her heart-rate went up. Of course, I wasn't much better!

joan@bac said...

if Christianity can have the same contagious effect that would be so awesome !