Archives for : Olympics

For the Love of Sport

I am not a sports guy, and I never really have been. I played sports in school and my parents enrolled my brother and I in a number of sports as kids to keep us occupied and entertained, such as T-ball, soccer, karate, skiing and more. With the benefit of hindsight, I enjoyed them all to varying extents, but they all didn’t last very long.

In fact, I remember playing soccer as a child and not really caring about the positions or the score. As my parents have said on more than a few occasions, “Daniel was content to run after the ball with some sort of interest, but David was content just to look at the ants on the ground” – a fact that is still true to this day!

But if I was ever provided the opportunity to go to a hockey game with my dad, a baseball game with friends, or anything else of the sort, I would go and enjoy myself. But I never had the need to watch sports on TV, and glancing at the sports section of the newspaper every day to see who won was more than enough for me. Basically, I wasn’t emotionally invested in any particular team much beyond “hometown loyalty.”

But there is one time where I become passionate about sports and will watch as much as I can possibly get my hands on – during an Olympic year.

Every two years, I become a sports watching machine and gobble up as much sports as I possibly can. And I will watch anything and everything that is on! Case in point, I am reasonably certain that over the past few winter Olympics (Sochi in 2014 and Vancouver in 2010), I watched every single curling match.

I adore the competition that takes place for the two weeks every two years, I am fascinated by the breadth of competition presented by nations around the world, I feel pride when my nation (or individual I am cheering for) wins a medal or does well, and I am saddened when they lose of fall short. It is a hell of a ride, and I enjoy every minute of it.

I remember Olympians that return and cheer for them to medal again or reach new heights. I enjoy learning about the fresh faces that my country sends, eager to learn their stories and see them grow over the years.

However, as enthusiastic as I am about the Olympics, after the two weeks, it all fades from memory. But does it have to?

Elite athletes should be praised by not only their host countries, but also the world in general. It doesn’t matter if they win gold or get eliminated in the first round. They still competed on a global stage and are one of the world’s best athletes, and I think people forget that too easily.

I am so proud of Canada’s athletes in Rio this year, as we have already accumulated nine medals (two gold, two silver and 5 bronze), and the first week isn’t even over yet!

But the most fascinating piece of news so far with regards to Canada’s medal count is that all nine medals have been earned by women!

So cheer for your country, cheer for your athletes, and enjoy these Olympics. But remember, its not how you start, but how you finish. And each and every athlete competing for their country deserves our praise, respect and support.

And just watch this video of Penny Oleksiak, a Canadian swimmer who had already earned two bronze medals and a silver, clinch a gold.

All that glitters is not gold

It’s that time of the year again, where nations come together and watch the Olympics!!!

Or, to be more honest, people watch expert athletes while sitting on their couches wishing they could be as good as the Olympians are. Or whatever you prefer to believe 😉

I absolutely love the Olympics and try to watch ever single event that I can, even though I am not h biggest sport fan during the year. But, for some reason, every 2 years, I become a sport fanatic and just absorb everything.

It has gotten to the point where I tape two different channels during their prime-time coverage, while watching a third, to make sure I do not miss a single event. Add that to online coverage, I think I’m set for the next two weeks.

But recently, I started thinking about why that is.
Why am I so engrossed in the Olympics (both winter and summer)?

I think it is because it shows people at their best.

Every single person on the planet says saying like, “just do your best,” “you tried your hardest” and “you just didn’t want it enough” – which is akin to saying that an individual was not good enough. But these athletes from all over the world? THEY are the best.

And from that pool, the three greatest champions emerge and stand on the podium.

However, getting just behind the podium is thought of, in the public forum, as a disappointment and a failure. But the truth is that it is anything but.

Take the Canadian women’s Olympic team in athletics.

Two days ago, they qualified for the team finals, which was beyond their wildest expectations. Their reactions to being one of the Top Eight to compete in the finals was simply pure joy. And how did they do?

According to CTV, Canada came in 5th, behind the U.S., Russia, Romania and China, but ahead of Britain, Italy and Japan. They were not even close to the podium, but it. Did. Not. Matter.

It was the team’s first appearance in the team final since 1984 and was simply happy to be named fifth best in the world. And that is what people need to remember, as well as the athletes – just because you aren’t first, second or third, it does not mean you are a loser.

Being fifth, 12th, 38th or 75th out of everyone who plays the sport in the world is still pretty DAMN GOOD. And while it may not come with a medal, you are still a winner.

You are still better at what you do than everyone I know, did know or ever will know.

So, congratulations to all Olympians, whether they are on the podium or at the bottom of the scoreboard

Ode to the Olympics

Hello everyone out there in the Blog-o-verse!

It’s been a tiring summer at my job, where I have to battle my body every day when I get home to stave off of taking a nap. But, with just over a week left of it, I cannot believe that it is almost finished. The days and weeks pass by slowly, but on recollection, it all seems to fly by. Doesn’t that go against a law of physics?

As everyone is well aware of, the Olympics began almost a week ago, and WHAT A WEEK SO FAR! Now, I’m not a big sports enthusiast, but once the Olympics begin, I become ADDICTED. I watch as much as I possibly can, everything from swimming to judo to track and field to gymnastics. I absolutely love it!

To begin, the opening ceremonies were pretty good, but all the controversy surrounding it now makes it seem less spectacular than I originally thought. The first thing I want to talk about is the torch lighting. I can understand the running around the stadium by previous winners, that always happens, but it seemed to go on for a long time. But the real disappointment, was the lighting of the actual torch. All that occurred was the Olympian running around the stadium’s large television screen for what seemed like an eternity before very simply lighting a gunpowder trail and finally igniting the torch. To be honest, I did not enjoy it one bit because it was tediously long, boring and lacking in excitement.

Next on the plate is Canada’s performance so far. What can I say? The summer Olympics are not Canada’s strong suit, but we do try! We’ve gotten close a bunch of times, but the medals still elude us and result in Canada being tied for 52nd place. Hopefully, we’ll be able to scrounge up at least a medal of two before the closing ceremonies.

And last, and certainly not least, no conversation about the Beijing 2008 Olympiad can be complete without the mention of the now greatest Olympian EVER: Micheal Phelps. He is an AMAZING swimmer with incredible stamina, drive and unbeatable skill. I saw all of his matches in Athens back in 2004, and he was incredible. But now, in Beijing, he has become an unstoppable force. An amazing 11 career gold medals, with two more possibly on the way, more than any other athlete in history. Even if he looses every single match from now on, he will still leave these Olympics with an almost unbeatable track record. That being said, it is HIGHLY unlikely that he will lose these ‘easier’ matches (according to experts) or, at the least, fail to make the podium.

Well, that is all for now because I’m going to go watch THE Michael Phelps do what he was born to do…. SWIM FAST, SWIM STREAMLINED AND SWIM A WINNER!