The spirit of the 2010 Olympics

FTLComm - Tisdale - Tuesday, March 2, 2010

With the Olympics over it is time to sum up and determine the "so what?" of this really huge event. Regular readers of this site will recall I was less than optimistic about it just before it began. Kevin McIntyre voiced his concern about the organisation of the event just after it had got underway but Ken Styan pointed out that it was the athletes themselves that would make or break the event. Michael Townsend voiced his view of the games and pointed out the affect the Games were having on our neighbouring countries. Like Gerald Crawford I was affronted by the obscene nature of the torch run but when the opening ceremony began I was glued to the TV screen or watching it live here on my computer in HD.


I should first point out what repulsed me about the 2010 Olympic Games and that was that I felt that something that should have a certain purity about it was being exploited by corporations, politicians and there was something unsavoury about their use of the genuine nature of sports in general. I was especially concerned about the overt expressions of nationalism because it reminded me so much of other nations past and present who do or did things under the cover of nationalism. This is coming from a guy who has worn a Canadian flag on my jacket sleeve since the 1970s.

What happened was unexpected. Canadians are a damn smart bunch of people and i believe they shared my concerns and pretty much said to heck with it we are not going to be exploited and we will be nationally chauvinistic if we want to be because it doesn't matter our good sportsmanship and honest enjoyment of skill performance is one of the things we are about.

The turning point for me in this view of the Olympic spirit was the way Canadians cheered on Chinese curlers, Israeli figure skaters, American Alpine skiers and European Nordic skiers. Sure we like to see our guys and gals do their best but we also did not lose sight of out and out exceptional performances. Then our Canadian athletes showed us how to deal with defeat. Saskatchewan people really dig curling and the classy manner of Cheryl Bernard's loss in the extra end of the gold medal game was for me, one of the high lights of the games.

But there were two other highlights I must mention. The participation of Canadians coast to coast and right in Vancouver of the people of this country was a matter of pride. It did not matter about the ethnic background of the Canadian we were all in the hunt for gold medals together. Not once in these games did Quebec issues come up that I was aware of and the only sad thing about our athletes was the absence of First Nations people and we all know that has to change.

The second highlight of the whole games was the ability for us as Canadians and the pompous bunch called VANOC to poke fun at ourselves in the closing ceremony will be the memory I will most cherish about these Olympic Games. Canadians have a vast sense of humour and we need to remain proud of that.

The images on this page were borrowed from the live streaming feed from CTV over the Internet..


Timothy W. Shire

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