People ask me all the time why I don’t live in Canada – the implication being I can’t be patriotic if I live elsewhere. The thing is I AM Canadian. That doesn’t change if I live outside of the country for five years or for 50 years. Canada will always be my home and Canadian will always be how I identify myself.
Some people will tell you that Canadians aren’t patriotic in general. This isn’t true at all. In fact most Canadians I know are fiercely proud of our country. It’s just that we don’t like to rub it in if you’re NOT Canadian, because actually, we feel kind of bad for you.
So of course the topic on every red-blooded Canadian’s mind today is the Vancouver Olympics – Wow! After a shaky start, Canada went on to collect the most gold medals in a Winter Olympics than any country EVER. That’s pretty incredible.
But it wasn’t the medals that really made this year’s Olympics for me (although being a competitive gal those bragging rights are nice too), it was the stories behind those medals. It was the strength and determination of our athletes, like Joannie Rochette whose mother passed away only two days before she was set to skate her short program. She still managed to summon the courage to win a bronze medal, despite everything she was going through.
There were moments during these Olympics when I felt so much pride in my country that I cried. Ok, I’m an easy crier I admit, but I was feeling really proud of my country. (Below this post you’ll find a couple of the videos that caused me to tear up.)
But no matter what we do in any other sport (or likely anything at all), Canada is most known for hockey.
I’m not a fan of team sports. This could be because I was always one of the last kids chosen for a team back in school (something to do with my utter lack of skill at shooting things in baskets or nets). I’ve never had an interest in watching sports on TV and I really don’t identify with people who obsess about a particular team – Unless it happens to be Team Canada.
Our Canadian women won their third consecutive gold medal. Now that’s a strong team! But like everyone else in Canada, it was the men’s game that I was glued to the TV for. When we lost to the USA in the semi-finals, Canadians had to put up with a lot of ribbing from our friends to the south. Who’s laughing now guys?
I have to admit, it was a nail biter of a game and both teams played extremely well. When Nova Scotian, Sidney Crosby made his winning goal in overtime – you could hear Canadians screaming around the world.
So for the next few days fellow expats, please excuse your Canadian friends, if they are overtly patriotic. We really do think Canada is the greatest country in the world and we wish everyone could be Canadian. But since you can’t, we’ll try not to rub it in too much.
Unfortunately this link will only work if you are in Canada (or if CTV thinks you’re in Canada, ahem). I searched for it on youtube with no luck but if I find it I will post the video. This is one that made me cry, twice 🙂 Why The Olympics Were Important for Canada.
UPDATE: Here it is from Youtube.