As someone who is happy to be Canadian — even “proud,” although that terminology might sit more comfortably with our neighbours to the south — I’ve been pretty happy with the performance of our Canadians at the Sochi Olympics.
And I’m not just talking about the medal winners either, although Charles Hamelin and Denny Morrison come to mind, as speed skating is quite possibly my favourite sport at the Winter Games. Plus, there are the many other Canadian athletes who have contributed to our medal haul to date, showcasing Canada as an athletic force.
What I also think of are the moments where Canadians have won the hearts of many with their feats of good sportsmanship, humility and grace. I think of Gilmore Junio giving up his spot in the 1000-metre long-track speed skating final to Denny Morrison because Morrison is more skilled at that event and did, in fact, earn a silver medal for his efforts. I think of Canadian cross-country head coach Justin Wadsworth giving a spare ski to Russia’s Anton Gafarov after the athlete crashed and broke a ski during a semifinal heat in the men’s cross-country sprint — even helping Gafarov put the ski on so he could finish his race.
Then, of course, there’s the heartbreak for Patrick Chan missing out on gold in men’s figure skating. Who but a Canadian would apologize for winning silver instead of gold? Evidently in Canada, however, even much-decorated, dedicated and respected athletes like Chan hate to think that they may have disappointed their fans and supporters. (And no, Patrick, you did not disappoint.)
It’s these non-medal moments that can make or break a country’s reputation. For Canada, our reputation is just fine.
Garth Riess, the adventurous Pemberton traveller, is presenting “Garth Rides For Hope” at the Pemberton Library on Monday, February 24 from 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Join Riess as he presents a slideshow about his 21,500-kilometre bicycle tour from Pemberton to the southernmost point of South America. Along the way, he raised awareness of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Riess wanted to show that recovery is possible and also what he had done to achieve this.
A two-workshop series for parents of tweens and teens (children ages 10 years and older) is coming to Pemberton on March 3 and 10 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at 1341 Aster Street, the new multi-purpose room of Sea to Sky Community Services, presented by Suzanne Jolly.
At the March 3 workshop, participants will learn ways to help children take healthy risks and avoid the truly dangerous ones. The March 10 workshop is about teaching children to cope. Learn about creative coping solutions to help teach children how to survive life’s bumpy road.