Oh, Canada. Not my home and native land, but I love you just the same. We have had some good times together, you and I, and shared many laughs.
But no more.
For the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, however, Canada is taking itself very seriously. Although it has long been a huge player in international winter sporting competitions, Canada has never really come out on top. The world-class Canadian athletes have long settled for silver and bronze, allowing countries like Norway, Russia, and, embarrassingly, the US to dominate.
Hosting the Games hasn't helped, either. During the 1976 Montreal [Summer] Games and the 1988 Calgary Winter Games (think Amik the beaver and Hidy and Howdy), the Canadian team did not win a single gold medal. The Soviet Union dominated both tournaments and the US team made it into the top ten both times.
“We’re the only country to host two Olympic Games and never have won a gold medal at our Games,” Cathy Priestner Allinger told the New York Times. “It’s not a record we’re proud of.”
Well, Canada is fed up and is not going to take take it any more. They are going to win some gold medals come hell or high water. It is taking precautions that some have even termed "American," an insult indeed. For instance, it has limited the practice time American teams are afforded. Also, this year's slogan? "Own the Podium." YEAHHHH!
"Own the Podium is obnoxious and un-Canadian," says Louise Fox, a Canadian etiquette expert told the Wall Street Journal. "Up here we don't toot our own horn like that."
Well, toot away Canada. You toot your pants off. I'll be cheering for you.
Links links links:
"Welcome to Canada... Prepare to Lose," WSJ.
Luge federations spar over Whistler training time , CTV.
Canada protects home advantage at Olympics, NYT.