windemere: (winter luck)
[personal profile] windemere
So, that happened. As it does every 4 years (Summer Olympics don't count by Canadian standards). I have been a wreck for 14 days now, and only because the really stressful stuff doesn't get started until team skating medal awards, so like, three days into the Games.

It's hard to describe Vancouver to people. I was alone in February 2010, housesitting, and I literally spent the better part of two weeks crying in front of the TV pretty much all day long. Because if the events weren't on they were doing replays and musical montages to I Believe, and that song still makes me cry to this day. I spent a lot of the last few days of the Games screaming at the television, and memorably remember listening to the finale Gold Match men's hockey game on the radio on the way home from work (which had run long) and managing to make the TV in time for OT, at which point I pretty much had a full blown anxiety attack in the 8 minutes it took Crosby to score the Golden Goal. I had not really paid attention to the 2006 Olympics (the hockey lead to nothing that year, so it was rather a bore all around) and in February 2002 I had just acquainted myself with the person I now lovingly call sister, so Olympics wasn't high on the list of things to do (as I recall, obsessing about LotR was).

2010 was my first proper Olympics. The first time I honestly watched it to cheer for my country. And I think it was like that for a lot of people. I think that was the year many of us learned to be proud (and vocal) Canadians. To celebrate our successes even on the international stage. To acknowledge that, for a country of 34 million people, we are pretty awesome. We cheered, we cried, we won (we lost), and for many of us I think we thought it was a one-off. It was Vancouver, and we were Canadian. It was home soil and nothing was going to take that from us.

Russia is a long way away from home soil, and I admit I was worried at first. But not because I was worried we would lose, but because I knew now that we had it in us to win. And then, Canada, look what you did. Through trials and tribulations you pulled it off again. You pulled off 10 gold medals and another 10 silver and you did it in a foreign country who is good at the winter games. You fought the USA every inch of the way and several other countries even further and you made it. You won. And as always, it all comes down to that last game. For Canadians, that final game on the last day of the Winter Olympics is our Olympics. It's what we spend 16 days waiting for (and 4 years planning for) and it's the one that matters. The other games all matter. It all matters, but that last game is the one that really counts for us. The one we measure ourselves against. Because to come so far and lose the gold is, for us, becoming I think, unthinkable. It's our gold now. For the women AND the men. It's ours to lose, basically, and we are not going to let it go without a fight. This was not the heart-pounding final of Vancouver (the women got that game instead), but it was an amazing hockey match and Sweden deserves that silver wholeheartedly for fighting as hard as they did. But as someone took to waving on a placard in 2010, this is our game.

And boy, Canada, did you make it a good one.

Here's to 2018 Korea. We'll make that a good one too.
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