Proud to be a Canadian

I have been meaning to write all during the Olympics but have been distracted  watching them.  Of course, I am watching them in Chinese usually which means I really have to watch and not just listen to what is going on.  I have also watched the the Olympics in German, Russian and Spanish through online streaming thanks to all of the friends in the Facebook hookup on the Vancouver Olypics main page.

What a fantastic website that  has been.  I have chatted with people during an event, though I occasionally turn it off as the anger and hatred of some people is too hard to put up with, watched the breakdown of the scores in figure skating and followed the interactive track for  bobsled, luge and skeleton.

Through the Chinese interactive channel my class of international grade three students have watched any great events.  They cheered on the Chinese curling team with more enthusiasm than I have ever had for curling even during the Briars.  My Korean students screamed as Kim An-Yu skated her incredible performance and they held their breath as Joannie Rochette skated to her emotional bronze medal.

As a Canadian living on the other side of the world I was angered by the comments made by Chris Rudge and the Own the Podium program.  It belittled what our athletes were doing out there and the incredible achievements.  He is in my eyes an example of what is wrong with people that have a voice and supposedly speak for Canadians.  He doesn’t…..not for my Canada.  In the end it doesn’t matter as our athletes and their efforts showed what we are made of.  Go Canada.

Of course, the tragedy of the death of Nodar Kumaritashvil from Georgia overshadowed the blue skies of the Olympics. I will never forget the quiet dignity of the Georgian team as they entered the Opening Ceremonies, flag draped in black. The response of the audience. The death of Joannie Rochette’s mother, Therese, and all that followed – an example of love, courage and determination.

Jacques Rogge is speaking at the closing ceremonies as I am writing this.  The pride I have in my country and the athletes and all who helped put these Olympics on is overwhelming.

Of course, this Olympics will always be special as our country again shone gold with our own sport – hockey.  The women’s gold medal journey was exciting to watch and what is there to say about the men’s hockey game a few hours ago except that that is hockey at its best. Having the gold medal back in Canada is the most fitting way to end these wonderful games.

I have so much more to write but as Neil Young is singing and the Olympic flame gets ready to be extinguished in both Jack Poole Square and BC Place it is time to stop for now. I am so proud of my country.  Oh Canada – may God keep you forever.

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