The granddaddy of them all, the Winter Olympics
Author: bram lerat – contributor
Daydreaming between lectures, studying, and living the typical student life has been a talent I’ve improved on as I enter my last year of university. While many dream about their future soul mate, winning the lottery, or perhaps about attaining certain goals, a select few of us sit there and dream about that once-in-a-lifetime sporting event. Where to start? How can one go wrong with any of the major sporting events? The Stanley Cup is sure to be a favourite followed by the Super Bowl, World Cup, Wimbledon, The Masters or any other event that all sports fans can appreciate. All of these events admittedly make me drool, however, the grandmaster of them all is the Winter Olympics.
That selection may raise a few eyebrows, as it doesn’t exactly entail some of the most popular sports (i.e. football, basketball, golf, tennis). Let’s face it, Canada doesn’t exactly have the edge in most major sports, but where we lack in those, we make up for in the Winter Olympics. This event, I admit, goes with my bias towards hockey, but it also has to do with the pride, camaraderie, and excitement that Canada gains during that event.
I’d love to think my favourite moment in sports is laughing in the faces of Ottawa Senators fans while the Leafs steam roll to another victory. There are not many joys in life that can top that, but one of them is cheering side by side with those fans for a Canadian win within any sport. The Winter Olympics brings this pride and national love together on all fronts. For once, the English and the French are cheering for the same team, women have the same attention as men in every sport, and Canada is finally showing sports world domination by competing in every event. Whether it’s bobsleigh, curling, hockey, snowboarding or skiing, Canada has a soft spot for the cold and we know how important it is to us.
Joining the camaraderie and national pride are not just regular sports fans, either. The Olympics bring out many fans from hibernation that could, at any given time, not pay attention to a specific sport, but will turn into experts during the Olympics. Suddenly, everyone is mentioning Mark McMorris, Jennifer Jones, Sidney Crosby and Haley Wickenheiser in the same sentence. The whole country’s consumed by this event and with the vast variety of athletes and sports, you can bet that most Canadians can relate in some way or another.
With all of the passion and pride touched on, I realize I’m a few years late with my dreams as a Canadian Winter Olympics would be the perfect event for me. Realizing this won’t happen for another 20+ years, my eyes are set on South Korea 2018 or the unknown 2022 Winter Olympics. Catching the Canadian hockey teams, alpine athletes, and speed skaters are a small fraction of the excitement that would give me the perfect vacation.
There’s something about the snow, Canadian pride, and the love of sports that will always sway me towards the Olympics. By now, it’s easy to tell that my view and love for specific sports is trumped by Canadian camaraderie. I can sit here and tell you I’m a Leafs, Bears, Bulls, Jays, and Fowler fan and base my dream sports vacation off them. However, these favourites of mine become slightly less important when I can tell you I can cheer for Team Canada alongside the millions of other Canadians including the friend that “doesn’t like sports,” brother who usually cheers for the Edmonton Eskimos, and the stranger you hug when Canada scores a goal.