Okay Olympics it is… I love the Olympics.
If you don’t like the Olympics you should be ashamed. No matter where you are reading this you are from some country or other, and unlike the Winter Olympics, virtually every country on the planet is represented in the Summer Games. So your country is in there somewhere, your citizen athletes are waging battle against the superpowers of the world, doing their utmost to represent you proudly. So get with the program!!!
I’m a huge NFL (American football) fan and my favourite annual sporting event is the Super Bowl, their league championship. But the Super Bowl is a distant second for me compared to the Olympic Games. The Olympics is a competition of sports that I would never watch under other circumstances. I really don’t care about archery or swimming or diving or bike racing. These sports hold little interest for me, but under the Olympic format they are right there packaged nice and neat for my viewing pleasure and I love it!
For me the Olympics are not as much about the sport as they are about national pride. I will sit and watch a Canadian athlete compete and cheer them on because they make me proud to be a Canadian, even if they get thoroughly trounced by another countries athlete. The point is that they are there giving their utmost to win and I can appreciate the effort and sacrifice they are making and every so often they do win one and that makes me even prouder.
What I find great about the Olympics is that even the smallest of nations can compete at something and represent their country. The Olympics is an all-inclusive event and there are very few of those out there. This year I have seen a women from Ethiopia set a world record in a 10,000m race winning gold for her country. That’s right Ethiopia!! It will quite possibly be the only medal that country will win and she beat the big superpower nations doing it! I also watched the men’s rugby team from Fiji win a gold medal in the Rugby 7’s beating the Australians, New Zealanders’ and the British in doing so. All teams touted as gold medal contenders and far superior to the Fijians. What makes this even more special it was the first medal of any colour ever won by the small island nation in any Olympic Games!!! They’re still whooping it up in Nadi four days later!! Good on them.
Canada is a winter nation and at the Winter Olympics we are one of the superpowers but at the Summer Games we are just a middle of the pack nation. We struggle to keep up with the Chinese, Russians and Americans and even though we may never catch them for world athletic supremacy, my countries athletes are there giving it their all. That effort makes me proud to be Canadian and call these athletes my own.
The Games are half over and in fact Canada has done quite well so far, better than expected according to the talking heads on my television screen. Our medal count stands at twelve, 2 gold 2 silver and 8 bronze. For Canada this is great and what makes it that much more impressive is that these medals, all twelve of them, have been won by our female athletes! Honey couldn’t be happier!!
In a country that prides itself as a country of equality it says something that our female athletes have surpassed the men in their ability to be the world’s best. I am proud of that fact, even if I’m of a different gender. I would like to see the men perform better but to me it doesn’t matter because I only see the maple leaf they wear and am proud of every athlete’s effort. Hopefully though before the Games come to a conclusion at least one male Canadian will stand on the podium and receive an Olympic medal. But if not it will be of little consequence for me, because I see the accomplishments of my countries athletes as a whole not as a specific. Canada first and all the rest of it (gender, race, religion) is meaningless.
The Olympic Games bring the best world’s athletes together every four years. The big-money athletes compete alongside no-money athletes, brothers and sisters under one flag. The competition between countries is as fierce as any war but without the bloodshed and loss of life. The Olympic Games is a sporting event like none other. You don’t need to love or even like sports to watch the Olympics because the underlying message of the Games comes through and when one of your country’s athlete’s steps forward to compete on your behalf… you will feel it.
ADDITIONAL NOTE- In an effort to assist my country’s male athletes I am considering petitioning the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to have wood-chopping, bear wrestling and the beaver toss included as events in the next Olympic Games (Just for you Ginger).