THE CARAVAN Volume 9, Issue 3, March 2010
HI MY NAME IS TED AND I AM CANADIAN!
Because I am basically a summer person I wasn’t really excited about the 2010 Winter Olympics but I have to tell you that each day I became more and more involved. I watched as many events as I could, cheering on our athletes the whole way. I got caught up in the excitement and the pride that was felt all across Canada. So this month I am dedicating the Caravan to everyone who was involved with, participated in and watched how Canada grew as a nation.
As I observed and talked to people about how they perceived the Olympics I noticed a huge change in attitudes as the games progressed. After the opening ceremonies there were mixed comments. Many people loved them but some were critical. The next few days were filled with talk about the malfunctioning torch, the death of the Georgian luger, the weather conditions and the lack of medals. At this point very few people I met were wearing red.
Then I noticed a turning point when we won our first gold. People couldn’t stop talking about Alexandre Bilodeau. The approval scale moved up a notch and I began to see more people on the street wearing red. More often I would hear about the up coming events that people were now planning to watch. After Jon Montgomery won his medal and took the “beer” walk, the national pride began to grow and grow. More red was seen on the streets and we were now beginning to take a new look at our nationalism. A new pride was emerging within many Canadians.
Once the last few days arrived you could see and feel the difference when you walked the streets. We stopped having the attitude that “it would be nice to…” and the conversations changed to “yes we are going to…” Everywhere you looked you saw Canadian Pride in the store windows; in the clothing and the lapel pins; the car flags and especially the dialogue. No more negativity. We were talking about the personal stories, the images and the accomplishments. The courage our athletes showed was second to none.
We came out of these games as the country that tied the record for the most gold medals at any Winter Olympics and shattered the record for the most gold medals for a host country. What a fantastic accomplishment. We certainly showed the world what the true north is really like. We showed the world Canadian hospitality. And we showed the world our Canadian pride. If anyone you talk to thinks that these games were flawed or not worth the price, they have been living on another planet these last few weeks.
Here is my wish. Let’s keep the momentum going. Let’s keep this new pride in our nation. Let’s keep walking tall. And let’s stop apologizing for being a country that people all over the world envy and admire. It’s funny that until we see and feel events like we have just witnessed, we really don’t appreciate the talent we have in this country. Special congratulations to CTV and their affiliates for their tremendous coverage of these games.
So Canada; I’M TED AND I AM PROUD TO BE CANADIAN.
MOM’S TWO CENTS
By Jordin Williamson
WAVE YOUR RED AND WHITE FLAG WITH PRIDE
I normally don’t get excited about the Winter Olympics. I have not been one to stay up late to catch the next race or heat. I didn’t normally purchase Olympic clothing or flags. I am not much of a sports buff nor do I have the knowledge of Olympic athletes I thought I needed to really appreciate this event. In the past, the Winter Olympics just seemed like two weeks of programming that interrupted my weekly TV shows. I would soon learn how wrong I was.
As I was taking a quick trip to the bank with my children one day I noticed a crowd of people standing on the side of the road. I suddenly realized I was in the middle of the torch run. I parked the car and took the children into the crowd. We were just in time to witness the torch arriving and they did the exchange right in front of us. I was trying to explain to my daughter what was happening and I found myself getting very emotional at the thought of how special this moment was. The feeling in the crowd was amazing as people cheered, took pictures and stood together in great pride. I felt very proud to be Canadian.
I decided to watch the opening ceremonies this year as I was now very interested. It was great to watch all the athletes’ faces as they began the exciting two weeks ahead. But I had no idea how much this event would take hold of me.
I turned on the television every day to the coverage of the events and the special features of the athletes. I was fascinated by their stories of triumph, dedication, struggle and perseverance. I guess I never thought about how hard they have worked to get there. To get the chance to represent Canada by doing something they have such a passion for is amazing. They glow with pride.
I realized that if they had dedicated their lives to their sport and to us as a nation and they had worked tirelessly to achieve their dreams; I should show my support by watching and cheering them on. We bought the family the famous red mittens and we put flags up in the house and outside. I updated my Facebook page with a Canadian flag and regular updates of medal results. I made sure my children watched the events with us. And on the days of the hockey games we all wore red, of course!
It was so much fun to be a part of something so big. I was sad when it ended. I can’t wait for 2014. But I hope the feeling of pride doesn’t leave. I want to see the flags waving on people’s cars and front porches. I want to hear more people sing the national anthem at events. I want us to remind our children how lucky we are to live in Canada. And I want us the teach them that no matter what their dreams are, they can achieve them if they work hard and take pride in everything that they do.
Quote of the Month
Submitted by Brodi Mouradian
"Be proud and stand tall. Celebrate your accomplishments with dignity. Admire all who strive to achieve their dreams."