Now I know Canada

March 3, 2010 by  

Now I truly know what Canada is all about.

The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver turned out to be about much more than sports. It was about national pride.

In all of my 18 years living in Vancouver, I have never experienced such Canadian patriotism. And quite simply, I loved it.

Walk down the streets of Vancouver and you were bombarded with Canadian patriotism. Strangers in bright red jerseys and red woolen mittens gave out high fives and hugs simply because they were Canadian and proud of it. That, or the fact that they were drunk out of their minds: one or the other.

Canadians have been criticized for not having an identity, and therefore not really having a sense of patriotism. But in the two weeks of the Olympics, I learned what being a Canadian means.

It means hockey.

I knew it was important to Canadians before the Olympics, but now I know why. It’s our game. And really, it’s not just a game, but rather a competition of cultures.

You could tell whether we won or lost a game just by walking outside. There was a dark cloud hanging over the country when we lost to the U.S. in the quarter finals, and the most insane, positive energy when we won our gold medal against the U.S.

It also means music.

In the two weeks of the Olympics, I became proud of Canadian music. Seeing incredible acts like Sam Roberts, Arkells, Dan Mangan, We Are the City and Marianas Trench, made me realize what talented Canadian artists we have in our country.

It is about feeling Canadian.

Many times before Vancouver 2010, I think Canadians sometimes looked for inspiration and identification through other countries. Now we know why we don’t have to.

It may sound like I’m dramatizing the importance of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, but something great happened in those two weeks.

The country came together, and we got re-energized, re-inspired, re-introduced to Canada.

I can confidently say that I now know what Canada is all about. And I love it!


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