The Olympics been in full swing now for a little over a week and I am as excited and proud as the next Canadian, watching events day after day thanks to the miracle of television.
This year, with the Olympics in Canada, it seems as though all you hear is the idea of Canada “Own(ing) the Podium”. As a competitive athlete for many years, a coach for several years, and a sports enthusiast for my whole life, I wholeheartedly disagree. I understand that the Olympics are about competition and that of course, there can only be 3 champions in each event, on any given day. But what about the athletes who train their whole lives, go to the Olympics, and happen to have a bad day? They are still there, representing our country. We should be so proud of them – winners, personal best achievers, and competitors alike.
Case in point: Mellisa Hollingsworth. After she lost a skeleton race in which she was expected be on the podium, the interviewer put her on national television, crying. It was an embarrassment; to see the media almost berate her for her loss, asking her questions like: “How do you feel ?” Seriously. How do you THINK she feels?! Unbelievable. On behalf of media outlets everywhere, to Mellisa and all our Canadian athletes; I am sorry for our behavior towards you. We, the real Canadian fans, are proud of you. All of you.
At least our athletes are there. At least our athletes are representing our country honorably and elegantly. Let’s be proud of who we are and of what it means to be Canadian. Let’s celebrate the personal bests being achieved. Let’s celebrate the victories over injuries which have allowed the athletes just to compete. Let’s celebrate the stories of our athletes who are doing their best. Let’s celebrate the families who have sacrificed and supported to get their sons/daughters there. Let’s celebrate the spirit of the games.
The Olympic spirit is best expressed in the Olympic Creed: The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.
The Canadian media would do well to remember this.
Go Canada Go. I am, and will always be, proud.