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Vancouver Olympics 2010 – Canada’s Games

I am an Olympics fanatic. Especially Winter Olympics. Especially when the games are on my home soil of Canada. Vancouver 2010 was Canada’s Games in the most wonderful ways possible.

The Anthem Awards

From no gold on home soil to record-setting heights for most golds by a host nation, even topping the most gold medals for a single Olympics. O, Canada was the anthem played more than any other, and Canada has achieved excellence in international competition.

As much criticism as the ‘Own the Podium‘ program has had, perhaps it was simply over-hyped by marketeers and measured by the wrong criteria. (Perhaps they shouldn’t have panicked after Day 3 either, but I digress.) I’ve watched many Olympics Games in my day, and never have I seen as many competitions where Canadians have had a legitimate chance at succeeding as I did at the 2010 games. More importantly to most, the most GOLD is as good a measure of success as overall medal count. But maybe there is something even more important and valuable than counting hardware at the end of the day: Canadian Heroism.

Too often it seems Canada has not been defined by what it is, but more by what it is not, especially in contrast to our neighbours to the south. What we have seen exemplified best throughout this gruelling 17 days on the world stage is the true source of Canadian pride: heroism. Overcoming adversity, adapting and excelling to change, rising above and succeeding—this is what Canadians are best at.

Watching Cindy Klassen and Clara Hughes skate with guts, rather than glory, Joannie Rochette in an absolutely tear-jerking story of personal tragedy, moving images of the historic first gold on home soil medallist Alexandre Bilodeau embracing his inspiration and motivation for measuring success in life, his brother battling CP—these stories matter as much to us as the colours of the medals. The gold medal hockey game was the greatest single hockey game I’ve ever seen, as the golden crown on these Olympics is provided by Our Game. This is not heroism of brute force or for bragging rights, this is an interior fortitude, an ability to find strength when you need it most.

If there is a Canadian stereotype, it’s that we are notoriously polite and accomodating, and usually neat and tidy. We are not perfect, nor do we claim to be, but it is in the face of adversity that we truly measure ourselves. We are virtuous and valiant when the need arises. Underneath it all, we are strong and we are free, with a unifying pride and love for our country that is not bellowed nor boastful. We don’t need to tell everyone how amazing this grand country is. It is emblazoned on the glowing hearts of all Canadians.

I am Canadian.

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