Thoughts on the Olympics and the fierce patriotic pride it instills

As I write this column the men's hockey team from Canada is playing the U.S. in the semi-final game.


As I write this column the men’s hockey team from Canada is playing the U.S. in the semi-final game.

It is a game lots of people will be watching, even taking time off from work, no doubt.

But, I’m here. I’m here in body, anyway. Here I am in this newspaper type little office with a computer screen in front of me, painstakingly tap, tap, tapping the keys and sipping lukewarm coffee from a Styrofoam cup. Mostly, I’m wondering what the score is.

As I write this, Canada is now sitting in second place for medal wins.

And I am feeling good, great, actually, no doubt, along with Canadians everywhere, that our country has done so well in the medal count.

Seeing our country’s Olympic athletics make it to the podium in so many events is good; good for personal and national pride. In fact, more than once during these Olympics I have found myself feeling the urge to to yell out the national anthem or at least go buy a sweatshirt with ‘C A N A D A’ splayed across the front in big bold lettering.

Years ago, I felt the stirrings of such patriotic pride, but for a very different reason.

My husband and I had travelled to Korea to visit our daughter who was teaching in Seoul. We carefully sewed Maple Leafs on our suitcases, which proved to be a great idea. They like Canadians over there. In fact they nicknamed us Mr. and Mrs. Montreal. Obviously they had Canada and Montreal mixed up.

Anyway, the Olympics, for me and probably lots of people, has brought back that fierce sense of patriotic pride that is, no doubt, hidden in all of us, somewhere.

Mostly I just like the way the Olympics and Canada’s success at the Olympics seems to hover over all of us in a good way; a positive way. My grandson, who is very wise in the ways of the world because he has reached a wise old age (he is five) has been watching lots of the Olympics on TV with his brother and his mom and dad.

After observing some of the events he turned to his mom and said, “we are so lucky we can watch the Olympics on TV and we don’t have to drive all the way to Russia.”

With such common sense thinking, the child will go far, I muse.

I wish I had watched more of the events myself, but I seem to get all busy trying to be a grown up and finish my to do list, or at least find it.

But, the gym where I go to work out (mostly faithfully) has a TV in front of the treadmill. Every morning as I tread on the treadmill, I watch those amazing athletes on the hills or slopes or wherever they are over there in Russia.

And even watching such athletic ability in action inspired me to try a little harder before I collapsed in a pathetic heap of exhaustion which usually takes less than 20 minutes.

I understand that watching the Olympics has affected productivity at some work places. I know this to be true.

I’m less productive at the moment, for sure. And the guy at the meeting I was at the other day who was watching the hockey game on his iPhone was definitely not in the room.

It’s a Canadian thing. In the end, we give each other a high five, go back to work and say casually,”see you later, have a nice day, eh.”

And even if it is 40 below, it’s good. For a brief moment in time, we bask in the victories of our Olympians.

And we forget to be cold!

— On The Other Side