Why I believe in Canada

Here is a part of John Furlong’s Closing Ceremony Speech:

And to perhaps compare for a moment the Canada that was with the Canada that now is. I believe we Canadians tonight are stronger, more united, more in love with our country and more connected with each other than ever before. These Olympic Games have lifted us up.

If the Canada that came together on Opening night was a little mysterious to some it no longer is. Now you know us, eh! If we were once the few we are surely now the many.  That quiet, humble national pride we were sometimes reluctant to acknowledge seemed to take to the streets as the most beautiful kind of patriotism broke out all across our country. So many new and dazzling applications for the Maple Leaf – so many reasons to smile and be joyful.

I believe these games have united and lifted up Canada like never before. As a Canadian, I feel more passionate about being Canadian because our athletes’ accomplishments. Canada has won a record number of gold medals – more than any other country, in any other Winter Olympic Games.  However, I can only make this claim as a Canadian. The images on television captured by our CTV network have been predominantly Canadian. This has undoubtedly been a powerful medium for us.

Our Olympics theme song, “I believe” (version 1), really helped to foster an emotional side of believing in myself as a Canadian (or Olympic torch relay , ver. 2).  When I hear that song along with the image of Canada winning gold, it does something wonderful inside of me. I feel a sense of patriotism and tears of joy and national pride wells up inside of me. I believe that other Canadians have felt this way too.

Canadian patriotism and nationalism is at an all-time high in this country because I have never ever seen so much excitement and flag waving happening before. I don’t think the world, let alone even Canadians, have seen this kind of excitement from within before. I hope we can capture this in our hearts and minds because when we look back on these Olympic games in Vancouver, we can say with all honesty that these have been defining moments in our national psyche. Go Canada Go! I believe in Canada.

We did it!! Canada wins gold in men’s hockey

We did it. We finally did it.  Our Canadian men’s hockey team defeated Team USA 3 – 2 to win the gold medal at these Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.   We are singing “Oh Canada!” with a special swagger previously unseen.

Here’s my summary of how the game went.  Canada was up 2 – 1 near the end of the 3rd period.  With just 24 seconds left at the end of the 3rd period, Team USA scored and I thought I had better call an ambulance.  I could almost feel heart attack coming along. The game goes into overtime and Sidney Crosby scores the winning goal and Canadian fans erupt with wild and exuberant cheering at Canada Hockey Place.   I was cheering by myself in front of my television set but I wished I was there.  Millions of Canadian are in celebration all across the country tonight—in every city and town from sea to sea. Anyways, this was our miracle on ice. I have never been so proud of being Canadian as now.

Canadian gold rush at Vancouver 2010

It feels like Canada has hit gold rush fever in Vancouver Olympic Games.  So far, Canada has done very well and I am proud of our Canadian athletes.  After I got back home, I discovered Canada had another great day on Saturday winning three gold medals and one bronze.  Canada has won 13 gold medals to date.  If Canada wins one more gold medal, hopefully in men’s hockey game on Sunday, with 14 gold medals, Canada will set a new record for golds for any host country during the Winter Olympic Games.

Congratulations to our Canadian:

  • men’s curling team on winning gold.  You guys played awesome, even though I don’t understand the game at all.  Some really cool guys with a great sense of humor.
  • men’s team pursuit on winning gold. They didn’t win in individual events but won gold in this team event.
  • Jasey Jay Anderson on winning gold in the men’s snowboard parallel giant slalom. That was an amazing come-from-behind run to win the gold.
  • four-man bobsleigh team on winning bronze.  I am not sure why all the guys in the four-man bobsled event are all so big.  I imagine the heavier weight has something to do with the ability to gain higher speeds on the track?

This has been perhaps a pivotal Olympic games for the nation of Canada because our sense of national self-confidence has dramatically increased.  We feel more freedom to express our patriotism and nationalism as a country.  Previously, I think we felt inhibited from expressing our national pride but it feels like the atmosphere has changed since these Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Good luck to our Canadian men’s hockey team who will play against the U.S.A. this Sunday afternoon.  GOld Canada GOld!!!

Canadian women’s hockey team win gold!

A big congratulations to our Canadian women’s hockey team for winning gold.  It was very sweet, probably the sweetest gold so far because hockey is our national game.  It was a great game. The Canadian women played with heart and didn’t ever let up during the entire game.  They went hard and aggressive the whole way through the game until the very end.   Way to go Team Canada!

Joannie Rochette wins a very special bronze medal for Mom

Joannie Rochette of Canada has won a very special bronze medal tonight – she won it for her Mom who suddenly died from a heart attack.  Her mother suddenly experienced a fatal heart attack only several days ago after arriving in Vancouver, BC to watch her daughter skate. Joannie could have pulled out of the competition but she decided to continue.  That was very courageous!

Joannie, we love you and pray that your family will be comforted with peace and love.  God bless you and your family.

Congratulations to world champion Kim Yu-Na of South Korea won gold with a world record score.  Her coach, Canadian figure skater Brian Orser, must have been very proud of her.  Mao Asada of Japan won the silver.

South Korean women’s team disqualification in 3,000-meters short-track speed skating relay will be controversial

Our Canadian women’s short-track speed skating relay team won the silver, but this silver will not be completely sweet because we’re not sure if we deserved it.  The four-time champion South Korean women were celebrating their win but their joy quickly turned sour.  They were disqualified for blocking the Chinese skater, which did not appear absolutely certain to me, but what do I know?  As a result of Korea’s disqualification, China won the gold, Canada, the silver, and the U.S.A., the bronze.

Despite the win, I fear our three medals to be awarded might not be completely fair and square .  China’s win will be very controversial because the South Korean team came in first by a huge margin and even set a  new world record.   I also notice Canada’s CTV network was not celebrating our win of the silver medal. Rightly so.  Neither should China nor the U.S. be celebrating too quickly.

Personally, I think the South Korean women should have won the gold. After looking at the replay, I have my doubts about the judge’s call on this. It didn’t look like the Chinese skater was going to pass the Korean skater.  It just appeared that she just got in the way because they were in the same proximity.  This bump up and down in the medal wins will be controversial and the judge will have to live down his mistake.

Sven Kramer’s disqualification was fair but this one today will be questionable.  Judging is not always fair or accurate. Canada’s figure skating experienced this injustice in Turin 2008 and it caused a big change in how points are awarded in figure skating today.

The nation of South Korean will be furious about the judge’s call on this one.  I feel for the South Korean women today. They truly skated super one today breaking a world record.    May God give you comfort to go through this and the justice to receive what you deserve.

Canadian Women biggest day in medals

Two of the Canadian women’s Bobsleigh teams have just won gold and silver on the same podium today. Kallie Humphries and Heather Moyse win the gold; and Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown win the silver.  Erin Pac and Elana Meyers win the bronze for the U.S.A.  We are very proud of our Canadian women.  This is Canada’s biggest day for medals.   All four of our medals were won by women.

CTV network’s Olympic coverage deserves a gold medal too

I’ve been blogging about Canadian athletes but now I want to say something about Canada’s CTV television network that is giving us all this coverage.  CTV has been giving awesome Olympic coverage on television. I have been very impressed.

I’ve watched previous Olympics both summer and winter and CTV’s coverage has got to be the best ever compared to CBC’s. The reign of CBC is now over. Now it’s CTV’s turn to be Canada’s Olympic network.

I especially like the live video feed, even though it doesn’t have commentary. The video clips of Olympic highlights are great. It has allowed me to catch up on what I missed earlier. Very good work all you people at CTV! You deserve a gold medal for all your hard work in Vancouver.

Heartbreak loss for Sven Kramer and the Dutch

Our hearts also go out to Dutch speed skater Sven Kramer who was supposed to have skated to a gold medal in the 10,000-meter race in a record-setting pace.  The gaffe was made when his coach motioned him to switch lanes when he was not supposed to.  As a result, Kramer was disqualified.  Kramer’s coach, Gerard Kemkers, was devastated and took responsibility for the gaffe.

This cost Nederland their 100th gold medal.  The entire nation of Nederland was waiting for this win and was disappointed. I know how the Dutch fans feel today.

An ABC news reporter asked Sven to say his name and where he is from.  The Dutch speed skater was angry and asked if she was stupid. The reporter’s question and Kramer’s response ignited an international debate about the ignorance of the America media. And whether Americans are ignorant about things that are outside the U.S. boundaries. 

Anyway, after losing a gold medal in this way, personally, if it was me, I think I would prefer to be left alone than to face reporters to answer a barrage of questions.  Reporters should also take a tip. It’s better to be more understanding, give a person time to take out his anger and frustration before hounding him for a sound bite.

This reminds me of the CFL’s 2009 Grey Cup Championship football game where the Saskatchewan Roughriders was supposed to have won the championship but the game-winning play was annulled due to a penalty of too-many-men on the field.  As a result the Montreal Alouettes won the Grey Cup Championship. I and along with other Saskatchewan fans were heart-broken and depressed for a few days.

So media people, let’s give Sven a break.

More gold medals

While I was away, Jon Montgomery won gold in the Men’s Skeleton.  This has got to be one of the scariest rides on earth. You’re going 140 kilometers/hour laying head first on your stomach.  If your crash and burn, a person’s head will be the first to go.  So congrats to Jon on your win!  His entry onto the winner’s podium at B.C. Place was most unique.  Watch how he brushes to clean the podium before he jumps onto it with both feet (see video).  He was so much himself and unabashedly full of glee and happiness.  I love it.  I think Canadians are becoming freer in our expressions of joy.

I was elated to see Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir win the gold medal in the Ice Dance competition (see video). They beat out top favorites Russian world champions Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin.  Way to go Tessa and Scott!    At ages 22 and 20, these two are the young team ever to win the ice dance competition.   What makes these two young kids special that they have the advantage of skating together since they were kids.  They also trained at the same skating club as the American team, Meryl Davis and Charlie White.  Without this friendly competition between the two teams, they probably wouldn’t have succeeded.  A little competition brings the best out of people.

Ashleigh McIvor (see her blog) also did Canada proud in winning gold in the Ladies’ Ski Cross competition. I absolutely love this Olympic event.  It’s fast, exciting, and doesn’t require much brain cells to understand. My kind of sport to kick back and relax.  In university, she wrote an essay explaining why the ski cross should be in the Olympics.  Now she won gold in the same competition in the Olympics (see video).  What a way to win gold….Clue: Set yourself up for your own competition and win it.  That’s the way to do it 😉  Ashleigh has the right idea and the determination to succeed.  Good job Ash!

Even in fifth place in the medal standings, Canadians feel like we are on top of the world.  The head of the Canadian Olympic Committee recently declared that we are not going to catch the Americans in medal standing.  The Canadian government invested millions into Canadian Olympic sports to compete with the Americans.  To think that we could ever out-do our American friends was too lofty a goal anyway.  If we place 4th or even 5th, I would still be proud of our entire Canadian Olympic squad.  Personally, I feel we are doing very well.  As long as we give it our best, we are doing well and we should feel proud of our efforts.