Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Canadian Pride in Sochi

I'm not sure about you and yours but our family is riveted to the TV watching the Olympic coverage.  It's like an addiction for my kids who insist on watching the events and don't you DARE tell them the medal standings until they've watched the events themselves.  It's the ONLY time our family gets excited about watching hockey, curling or skiing ... evah. {And YES, curling is a totally riveting sport to watch.  It's chess on ice, people and we totally rocked at the 2010 Games!). 
We get so excited to see Canada kickin' butt at the Olympics and we're nothing if not proud to be Canadian and we are so very proud of all of our athletes.  From our snowboarders and our figure skaters to our free-style skiers we love see the Maple Leaf up on the podium!
One of my favourite Canuck athletes has got to be Alexandre Bilodeau.  The man rocks on the moguls (a gold medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics as well) but it's his relationship with his older brother Frederic who has Cerebral Palsy is what makes him a true champion.  Frederic is, by far, Alexandre's biggest supporter and you can see the pride in both of their faces as Alexandre shares the spotlight with his brother.  This picture makes me get all veclempt!  Love it!
Source: Huffington Post - Quebec
There is no doubt that Alexandre rocks the moguls but he also has the added bonus of being a total cutie-patootie!  On that note, has anyone else noticed how attractive these winter athletes are or is just me?  We sure do grow some good lookin' athletes here in the Great White North, eh? Just take a look at the Dufour-Lapointe sisters ....
Source: Yahoo Sports Canada
These lovely ladies also rocked the moguls (and apparently a great gene pool too).  Justine and Chloe grabbed both the gold and silver medals respectively and sister Maxime placed 12th (coming in 12th world-wide?  That's mighty impressive too).
Source: Findingoutabout.com
Watching Justine Dufour-Lapointe accept her Gold medal with a single tear running down her cheek as "Oh Canada" played was one of the highlights for me.  So touching.

And finally, this incident occurred today.  When Russian cross country skier, Anton Gafarov was going down a steep slope during competition he fell and broke one of his skis.  On the sidelines watching the race was Justin Wadsworth, a coach for the Canadian cross country team.  When he saw Gafarov's ski break Wadsworth grabbed an extra ski that he was holding for his athlete and swapped it out for the broken ski.  Garafov was able to finish the race, albeit in last place. 
Source: Globeandmail.com

 When asked why he would help the competition Wadsworth commented “I was on the course with spare skis and poles for Alex [Harvey, a member of the Canadian team that didn't qualify for the sprint final],” said Wadsworth. “I just went to watch. The Russian fell on the big downhill before the finish area and broke a ski. I was surprised no one else on the course gave him anything. I went over and gave him one of Alex’s spare skis. It was about giving Gafarov some dignity so he didn’t have to walk to the finish area."
How awesome is that?!?  Truly a proud Canadian moment and it showcases healthy competition with a big ol' dose of compassion.
My wish for this Olympics is not only for our athletes to bring home a boat load of medals (which, of course would be totally cool) but for this feeling in Canada to continue.  The feeling we have now (and especially when we hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics) is phenomenal.  I love it when we show our Canadian pride and aren't apologizing for it!  We are an amazing country and it's time we shed the humble demeanor we portray to the world (just for a bit) and fly that Maple Leaf high!
Needless to say, the Bookworm Family will be watching for the full two weeks of coverage to cheer on our fellow Canucks.  My kids have managed to PVR every single sporting event so we'll be able to bone up on our (limited) knowledge of speed skating, biathlon and curling (we adored watching curling at the last Olympics).
Here's to another couple of weeks of great athletic competition that shows kids worldwide that it's wonderful to reach your goals and compete at the Olympics but it's even better if you can show the world that competition isn't the only thing to aim for.  That compassion and good sportsmanship are even better goals. 

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