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.

Canadians are excited: more gold medals

I’ve been out of town this past weekend attending the Missions Fest conference in Edmonton, AB so I’ve been missing the last five days of the Olympics.  My posts have been totally Canadian-centric so I apologize to my readers.

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.

Maelle Ricker wins gold for Canada

Maelle Ricker of Canada has won gold in the ladies snowboard cross competition today.  “Way to go Maelle!  We love you!  Canada is very proud of you.”

This is Canada’s second gold medal of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games so far.  Canadians are going wild over our medal wins and we seem to be getting most of them from Cypress Mountain.

Yesterday, Mike Robertson also won silver in the same event for mens snowboard cross competition.  Yeahhh Mike!

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Canada’s mens and womens hockey teams have been hammering the other teams.  Canadian women slaughtered Slovakia 18 – 0.  The Canadian men outscored Norway 8 – 0.  Canada could be on our way for another two gold medals in men and womens hockey.

Go Canada Go!

A new self-confidence in Chinese sports is growing

Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue took the gold, and Pang Qing and Tong Jian took the silver today in pairs freestyle figure skating on Day 4. It’s China’s first-ever gold in pairs figure skating. Zhao and Shen, a married couple, had won many championships but never a gold medal at the Olympics.  They decided to come out of retirement to try for gold and they did it.

Congratulations to Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue in winning gold, and to Pang Qing and Tong Jian in winning silver. They were truly beautiful and flawless performances!

What stands out in my mind so far, in these Winter Olympic games in Vancouver, is the rise of the new China in pairs figure skating, speed skating, and likely in curling (and of South Korea in speed skating [short and long tracks]).  This may be Asia’s fortes and fortune in such sporting events for many years to come.  Back in the 90s, Russia had dominated figure skating but it looks like China may be the new force in world of pairs figure skating if they keep this up.  There seems to be a new self-confidence in Chinese and Asian sports.  China’s participation in many sporting events on the world stage is beginning to take the lead.  This is something new which I haven’t seen before.  We look forward to seeing what other sporting events this nation will take to new levels.

Why the sour face? Alex Bilodeau is impassioned…Dale Begg-Smith is dispassioned

No, don’t look at the guy in the middle. He’s the winner.  Look at the guy standing to the left of gold medalist Alex Bilodeau.  He is the silver medalist, Dale Begg-Smith.  His sour and grumpy face was obvious on the platform.  Why is he so dispassionate?  Begg-Smith and Bilodeau may have been competitors but there’s a bigger story behind that.  Begg-Smith looked rather uncomfortable and very dispassionate on the podium while receiving his silver medal.  The story is he is a Canadian who decided to ditch Canada and ski for Australia.

But what’s the problem with that? Bitterness brewed disloyalty, and disloyalty brewed envy, and perhaps envy brewed embarassment. All we can do is guess. In American terminology, Begg-Smith was a turncoat who betrayed his own country of Canada because he couldn’t take the heat in Canada.  He was gold medalist in Turin but ditched Canada when he got himself in a little hot water with his internet spamming business which made him millions. He even drives a black Lamborgini. So he sold his soul for money?  Yep. That’s the scoop I heard from CTV news.

Personally, I feel that he should have stayed with Canada, or at least, stuck it out until he had no choice but to leave.  Begg-Smith sure didn’t look comfortable receiving his silver medal for Australia, and showed no passion in winning silver for the Aussies. That was obvious at the bottom of the slopes and on the podium.

Sydney, Australia. Journalist, Peter Fitzsimons, wrote in a Sydney Morning Herald column titled ”Why Mr. Miserable leaves us icy cold”:

‘It is probably because his whole shtick all seems so ruthlessly joyless,” Fitzsimons wrote. ”He is infamous for offering monosyllabic answers to journalists. And even in victory, or near victory, he offers nothing. To see him on the podium, between a wildly celebrating American and Canadian, while he looked like he had just sucked on a lemon, was to cringe. All of it might be forgivable if there was the slightest sense he has more than a walnut’s worth of feeling for his adopted country.

”I am, you are, he says he is, Australian. And of course he has had an Australian passport for six years, since earlier falling out with his native Canadian team – though he still lives in Vancouver. But in all those monosyllabic grunts, it has been hard to ignore gaining the feeling that he couldn’t give a flying fig for Australia, and is simply flying a flag of convenience. If he doesn’t care for us, why should we care for him? I don’t.”  read on

What I learned from this:

  1. Love and be loyalty to your own country,
  2. admit and accept your wrong-doings in this life, and
  3. don’t let a little criticism turn you off so easily.

If Begg-Smith had done so, he would have had his fellow Canadians cheering for him. … Okay, I’ve let off enough steam.

Canada finally wins gold at home – Way to go Alex!

Canada has won our first gold medal on home turf.  Alexandre Bilodeau finished first in the men’s moguls at Cypress Mountain. Way to go Alex!He beat out Dale Begg-Smith (on the right) on performance and the fastest time. (There’s another story behind him.)

It’s what we’ve been waiting for a long time; we didn’t make gold in Montreal ’76 or Calgary ’88 so the long drought is over.

There had been this funny feeling churning inside wondering if we would win a gold medal at home.  That feel has subsided and now the pressure is off Canada’s back. Now it’s down to business of just competing for the fun of it…and more medals of course.

When Alex Bilodeau received the gold medal on the podium tonight, he made Canadians very proud. Canadians were going wild with passion, pride and excitement. He has won out hearts because he says he gets his inspiration from his brother, Frederic, who struggles with cerebral palsy.  That’s humility and it’s great to see him on the top podium.

Canada wins silver – Congrats to Jenn Heil!

Canada has won its first medal, a silver medal in womens moguls on Cypress Mountain.

Even though Jennifer Heil was expecting to win the gold in Vancouver, Canadians still love Jenn Heil. Way to go Jenn! We are proud of you.

Congratulations to Hannah Kearney who won gold.

Canada hasn’t won a gold medal on home turf yet (Montreal ’76, Calgary ’88) but we are still looking for our first gold medal in the Vancouver Games. May God bless our Canadian Olympic athletes.