Friday, February 26, 2010

February 26, 2010

As I mentioned in a post last week, I’ve been following the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics pretty closely. While I have wanted to do a new blog post every day, I didn’t want this to become an Olympic Blog, which is what would have happened if I had been writing every day for the past 2 weeks. I’ve tried to make notes of what I wanted to talk about, and encapsulate them all into one post. So, on that note, here are my Random Olympic Thoughts so far:

- How exciting was Jon Montgomery’s win in the Men’s skeleton race last Friday? The fact that it came shortly after Melissa Hollingsworth missed the podium in the same event made it that much sweeter. I think the reason I enjoyed it so much was the genuine emotion that Montgomery showed after winning the Gold Medal. His interview was fantastic, and when he jumped on the podium, it was an adrenalin-filled moment. I loved the footage of him walking through Whistler afterwards and chugging half a pitcher of beer as he was walking. So Canadian!
- Nice to see Canada win gold and silver in the women’s bobsleigh event the other night, and to see University of Waterloo (my alma mater) Hall of Famer Heather Moyse on the Gold Medal-winning team. Moyse was a track and field and rugby star for the Warriors…talk about an all-around athlete.

- I’ve really been enjoying the curling this time. It’s great to have the Canadian rinks being so dominant, and with both of them competing for the Gold Medal, it’s pretty awesome. For those of you out there that don’t enjoy curling, and think that it’s just a larger version of shuffleboard, give it a shot. The thing that makes curling such a fantastic spectator sport is that the participants are all miked, so you hear everything they say. Imagine being in the huddle for an NFL game, and hearing the quarterback calling the play…or being on the pitcher’s mound to hear the manager talk to the pitcher. That’s what you get in curling. Plus, as the world has noted, Cheryl Bernard is pretty easy on the eyes. (Kevin Martin, not so much.)
- Joannie Rochette was obviously the emotional centre of the Canadian focus on the Games, and her bronze medal on Thursday night was inspirational. If you aren’t impressed with the way that this young woman performed, considering what she was going through, then you must not have a heart.

- I hated that Rod Black was the voice of Rochette’s performances. Rod Black is without a doubt the worst sportscaster I’ve ever heard, and some of the things that come out of his mouth are just painful. How does he even have a job? Remember “Henderson in ’72, Weir in 2003!’, as we all were shocked out of our excitement at Mike Weir winning the Masters to think collectively, “Wait a minute, did he just say that?” Get your head around THIS nugget…Rod Black has earned five Gemini Award nominations for Best Sports Broadcaster.

- I understand that “I Believe” is the theme song for Canada at the Olympics, and if you want to play it for the vignettes, or when we win a medal, or at key moments, I’m all for it…but every commercial break? I’ve heard that song (or portions of it) hundreds of times in the past 2 weeks. How many of you are going nuts not being able to get it out of your head?
- Clara Hughes winning a bronze medal at the age of 37 is one of the most amazing stories of this Olympics. Consider this: Clara Hughes has now won 6 Olympic medals…in 2 different sports…in both Summer and Winter Olympics…over the span of 14 years! That last part is the most amazing to me…that her first medal came in 1996 in Atlanta and her sixth medal came in 2010 in Vancouver. I would argue that she is Canada’s greatest Olympian ever, and if you disagree with that, I’d love to hear your argument why, and who you would choose over her. In 20, 30, or 40 years down the road, when the Olympics are back in Canada, and the talk begins of who should light the cauldron at the Opening Ceremonies, Clara Hughes is the no-brainer choice.

- Earlier this week, Lucas and I were home in the afternoon watching the women’s Ski Cross event before he had to go to his swimming lessons. We watched the quarterfinals, and the semifinals, and just when the final four skiers were set, we had to leave to get to swimming on time. I set the race to tape and we got in the car and rushed off for his 5:30 lesson. Just as we were pulling into the parking lot (at 5:27), the radio station announced that they were going to go to the race live so that we could hear it. Lucas said, “Please Dad, can we listen?”, so we waited in the car and listened as Ashleigh MacIvor won the Gold Medal for Canada. We got out and started high-fiving each other as we rushed in to get him changed. As soon as we walked in to the Rec Center, we saw a large group of people gathered in the main foyer…and then saw that they had a big TV screen set up, and they had all just watched the race!
I’ll do another post after the Closing Ceremonies to wrap up the event as a whole, but Vancouver sure has done a great job welcoming the world. Here’s my question to you: If you could choose, who would you pick to carry the flag for Canada at the Closing Ceremonies and why?


Anonymous said...

Would have to go with Rochette. Who could better sum up the true definition of the Olympic spirit.

Derek said...

It'll be either Bilodeau or Rochette. Both touching stories and great role models for the Canadian and Olympic spirit.
I'd give the edge to Bilodeau soley for the fact that he won Canada's first gold medal on home soil.