It's been almost a week since the closing ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, and I still find myself looking for coverage when I'm surfing the guide, looking for something to watch on the television in the evening.
I don't really participate in sports. Nothing organized. I played pond hockey in the glow of pick-up headlights with the neighbours. But these days, I'm more of an observer than a participator. I'd have to say that I like hockey only slightly more than CFL football, but I go to the football games because they're affordable. Other than that, I spend a good deal of my weekends, this time of year, sitting in gyms, watching Jr. high school basketball.
As I get older during winters in Canada, I find myself wishing I was some place warmer. This winter was no different. Yet, it was, because I've been on a bit of an interesting ride over the last few weeks.
First, I was fortunate enough to be able to take a break from the ice and snow, and travel to Cuba, which was, by the way, lovely. The bad thing about leaving Canada in the winter for Cuba, is that a week away is not quite long enough, and before you're even ready for it, you're thrust, kicking and screaming, back into winter. The difference this year, was that shortly after arriving home, the winter Olympics started, and it would seem, there's nothing better at helping me embrace the climate I choose to live in, than cheering on my winter nation in competitive sport.
While the games were on, they were the staple of my viewing, and the more Canadian athletes performed with podium achieving ability, the more I wrapped myself in the icy blanket of the "True north, strong and free!" They weren't just athletes from Canada, but somehow, they dragged my tired, un-athletic ass behind them and every achievement they made, became our moment of victory.
When the smiling Dafor-Lapointe sisters, shared the podium with gold and silver medals, I was there with them. I was on the side of the speed skating track in my rubber suit and uncomfortable looking junk, cheering on our skaters. I was up in the wee hours of the morning, with my face pressed against the glass, screaming at the top of my lungs as first the women's hockey team, then the men's repeated gold medal performances. I would have been squished in between Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse as they came from behind to win gold in the bobsled, but frankly, that shit just scares the hell out of me.
But it wasn't just the wins. It was the spirit of the games. Like a spot given to a team mate because they had a better chance of winning, or a ski given to an athlete from an opposing country so they could cross the finish line with dignity.
All of those those things made me relish in my Canadian-ism and when I had to go outside to feed the cows in -30C weather, it wasn't so bad at all, because after all, as the country branded us during these games, we ARE winter!
Of course, now that the winter Olympics are over for another 4 years, I'm ready to be done with the snow and cold, and any bravado that I may have been riding on over those days has about fizzled out and I'm checking my weather app these days with more of a sigh than a fist-pump.
.............We may be winter, but there's something to be said for not having to dress in multiple layers.