There are few things that seem internationally identifiable as being classically Canadian. During my language classes which where were made up of students from around the world, the one thing that seemed universally known about Canada was that we play hockey.
I had forgotten that Canada and Germany were playing against each other in the Olympic hockey match today and was only able to see the last period of the game. My very devoted hockey daughter called me from the car on the way back from school to tell me the shocking news that Canada was loosing (and spoiler alert) they lost the game. Yelling at the television set has not helped my sore throat, but it has made me realize that I found more interest in another Olympic sport in which both nations competed and suddenly found themselves tied for the gold medal. To think that in the age of advanced time measurements up to several zeros behind a decimal point, that two bobsled team got identical race times is extraordinary!
When our children were younger (I guess I was too) my wife got us tickets to see the Biathlon in Whistler while the Olympics were hosted in Vancouver. The biathlon is my favourite Winter Olympic sport to watch as I am always impressed with the speed, endurance, and then the sudden breath-stopping-control that allows men and women to fire off a .22 round at a tiny target. While I don’t remember who ended up winning that race, I do remember the atmosphere of the crowd – loud, jubilant. I also remember the freezing cold and the new winter boats leaking on both of the children and me putting their ice cold feet on my stomach to warm them up.
I imagine that as the years go by it won’t be so much of a painful loss in todays hockey match, rather I will likely remember the loud screaming at the TV by my eldest daughter, and the sight of two bobsled teams standing on an extended platform to all receive a gold medal. Maybe if I take more German lessons the students will recall two nations standing side by side on the podium. The house is now a little quieter, and the nation of Canada is probably a little humbler.