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Thread: February 2010, the month we became a country

  1. #1
    Canadiens & 'News & Views' Moderator TheCountofMonteCristo's Avatar
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    Default February 2010, the month we became a country

    Well peeps, we did it, Vancouver held the games and other than a couple of malfunctions like all four parts of cauldron not rising, lack of snow and a bad Olympia ice cleaning machine (where's the Zamboni when you need it), they went off without a glitch.

    I lived in Montreal for the 1976 Olympics and there was obviously far less hype than now. My parents were able to take me to the bronze medal soccer game and buy tickets 2 hours before it started with no problem. Today, buying tickets including signing over your car, house and first born but damn they were worth it.

    I was able to see three games, one with my son (US-Switzerland), one with my wife and son (Finland-Belarus) and one with my sister (Canada-Switzerland). We paid scalp prices for the latter game and damn it was worth it. My son was in love with the games and was almost in tears when they took down the Olympic flag. He would watch the games for hours on end (well when they fit around his Wii MarioKart time) cheering on all the Canadian athletes even those who had no chance for a medal. He booed the Americans with almost an equal vigour (how Canadian is that)?

    It was great seeing the games through six year old eyes, how he loved the mascots and how he insisted on reminding me that his favourite MukMuk was not really a mascot but just a friend/fan etc.

    Not many people can say that they went to summer olympics in their city and then winter olympics in their city but I can. My parents took me and now we took our son. Those memories will last a life time.

    The competitions were amazing, we won the Gold medal count and had the third most medals, not bad for a country that had hosted two olympics but not won Gold at home (only country ever to do so) and while we all know the East German swimmers who were ahead of the Canadian girls in 1976 were really men with vaginas, we still carried that shame of not having won at home.

    That is all changed.

    Better than all the victories though was the way the city, province and country came together. In the past, you could buy olympic gear no questions asked, hell you could buy it after the games at half price. I got a great pair of shorts and canvas shoes from the 2008 Olympics after they were over for 60% off. This year was different. A week before the games, you were starting to have trouble finding what you wanted. I was fortunate to pick up one of the last adult sized hoodies in the city but you cannot find them anywhere. Throughout the city, everyone had fan gear on, hockey jerseys, hoodies, mits, hats etc.

    We are usually a reserved nation, not wanting to blow our own horn. Hell, at times I think we are embarrassed to be labelled the best place to live by the UN. Living next to a superpower and even though we know we are better, there is a bit of an inferiority complex. They are stronger, better climate, economy was stronger (until recently), while we are smaller (1/10 the population), colder, quieter etc.

    I don't know what happened but that is no longer the case. Sure we have had our moments in the past, 1972, Expo 67, Expo 86, 1987 Canada Cup but never have I seen the country come together the way it did for these last 17 days. From the Opening Ceremonies where as a Canadian, if your heart did not explode with pride, you needed a transplant, through Alexandre Bilodeau's touching story of love for his older brother who has cerebral palsy, through the tragedy of Joannie Rochette's loss being turned into arguably the most amazing medal a Canadian has ever won, to the ultimate gold in overtime against the dreaded Team USA, this country united in a way I never thought possible.

    We were a sea of red and white from sea to sea to sea. Flags were flying everyone, on cars, on flag poles, on store windows, in malls, from rooftops, from balconies of condo towers (such as mine), everyone had fan gear on. I was always a proud Canadian and knew I was fortunate to live here but never thought others were too. Now I know we all are.

    Canada was born peacefully in 1867, grew up in war in Vimy Ridge in 1917, had its own beat at Normandy (Juno), celebrated in 1967, then faced the homegrown terrorism from the FLQ and the War Measures Act, cheered in 1972 when Paul Henderson scored to beat the USSR in the Summit Series, almost lost the country twice in the 1980 and 1995 Referendums, particularly the latter when we held our collective breaths at the thought we might lose the country (I am tearing up just thinking that might have happened), won Gold in 2002 and celebrated but nothing compares to these last two weeks.

    I feel this country has finally come of age. We are united, people of all colours, languages and backgrounds put away the hyphens and were just Canadian. Usually we just cheered on hockey but not this time. We cheered on all sports. We were there.

    You could feel it in the streets.

    This is our country and damn for once we were going to tell the world how much we loved it.

    We are now a country. The 2010 Winter Olympics brought us together, we are one.

    It was truly a moment to believe. As the unofficial song of the Olympics goes "I believe the time is right now to stand tall and make the world proud"

    To our athletes, you made us proud and we showed the world just what we think of this great country. You are ours.

    We might not be the strongest, have the biggest population, make the most money, but we have the biggest heart and are the best.
    "The next game is the test unless we win" CanadienFan

    "It is better to be a hammer than an anvil." St Dominic

    "Peoples will only be truly free when the last king is strangled by the bowels of the last priest" Francois Laignelot -1793

    "Death is the beginning of my immortality" Maximilien Robespierre 1794

    "Success is dependent on effort. Sophocles

    Check out my blog www.countscorner.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Sabres & Golf Forum Moderator Sabrenator's Avatar
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    Default Re: February 2010, the month we became a country

    Good post Count. Canada should be very proud, you guys put on a helluva show in 2010.
    "The Buffalo Sabres reason for existence will be to win a Stanley Cup."

    -Terry Pegula

  3. #3
    ADMINuteman Habspatrol's Avatar
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    Default Re: February 2010, the month we became a country

    Nice post Count.

    Very nice to see your thoughts free of cynicism.
    Last edited by Habspatrol; 03-01-2010 at 11:24 AM.
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  4. #4
    Legend worm's Avatar
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    Default Re: February 2010, the month we became a country

    Good satire count.
    ...

  5. #5
    3rd Liner SKEETS's Avatar
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    Default Re: February 2010, the month we became a country

    Gotta say, even though winter olympics are my fave, that baby was humdinger. Best one I can recall. The opening ceremony was fun.I went to the Summer Games in LA in 1984, but that was big, crowded, noisy, and IN LOS ANGELES, so that was 4 strikes!! But Vancouver rocked!! Don't sweat the glitches, it wouldn't be the Olympics without glitches!! At least you didn't have Tanya Harding!!!
    I am beaten, but I am not slain. I will lay me down and bleed a bit, and then I'll fight again!!

  6. #6
    3rd Liner SKEETS's Avatar
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    Default Re: February 2010, the month we became a country

    VERY NICE...BEAUTIFUL SENTIMENTS,AND TRUER WORDS WERE NEVER SPOKEN
    I am beaten, but I am not slain. I will lay me down and bleed a bit, and then I'll fight again!!

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