Olympics bring out national pride, eh?

Over 200 athletes are representing Canada in Sochi (Submitted)
Over 200 athletes are representing Canada in Sochi (Submitted)

There is something about the Olympics that pumps maple syrup through my veins. It doesn’t matter what the sport is. I’ll watch the luge, figure skating and I’ll even watch hockey. As long as there is a Canadian athlete in it, I’m willing to watch it.

I remember the year when Sidney Crosby scored the Golden Goal. Unlike most of Canada, my family has never been into hockey. That didn’t stop us from jumping up and down, screaming at the TV. Maybe it was because we didn’t want to lose to the Americans, or maybe we really just wanted Canada to get a gold medal. Either way, I have never seen my basketball-loving family so excited about a game of hockey.

Something happened at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 that has changed the way I feel about my beautiful country. I have always loved Canada, but since 2010 I have been IN love with Canada. We set a record for most gold medals at a Winter Olympics with 14. It was in our backyard. We rocked.

CTV anchor Brian Williams said at the end of the Vancouver games, “I really believe these games have changed our country and the way we look at ourselves as Canadians, and I believe this pride will continue well beyond tonight’s closing ceremony.”

He was right. I was slightly worried that Sochi 2014 would not be near as amazing. How could it live up to Vancouver?

Already, I’m wrong. Heck, I was getting emotional before the opening ceremonies even started. By the time Justine Dufour-Lapointe and her sister Chloé had won gold and silver in the women’s freestyle skiing mogul competition, I was overflowing with joy. Seeing Justine’s massive smile made it impossible for me not to do the same. Canada already had one charming story, and it was only day one.

Things look good for us Canucks. A strong start on the first day brought us one of each medal, making Canada  second in the standings behind the Netherlands. We are also almost guaranteed to get a medal in men’s and women’s hockey, as well as men’s and women’s curling. Canada has 221 athletes participating this year, the third-highest number of delegates.

St. Thomas cross country runner Jeremy Trevors also gets into the Olympic spirit.

“It’s interesting to see every day Canadians going out a competing for their country,” said Trevors.

The men’s hockey team may only consist of professionals, but athletes like the Dufour-Lapointe sisters aren’t. Perhaps that’s what makes the Olympics so moving. The athletes are just full of passion and the desire to win. They have already made one of my favourite Olympic moments.

One of Trevors’ favorite moments goes back to 2006, when Cindy Klassen achieved greatness at the Turin Olympics.

“She brought home five medals. That’s pretty insane,” said Trevors. “That was just at the time where we really started to improve our medal count, so to see someone come out with five medals in any sport is pretty remarkable, let alone do it for one Olympics.”

Now Canada is an Olympic powerhouse. Will Canada be able to top the 14 gold medals we got in Vancouver? Hopefully. One thing for certain is our athletes will make us proud, whether they get medals or not. But it sure would be nice if they got more medal than the Americans.

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