Saturday, February 20, 2010

Early Morning Thoughts

What the heck should I write about on an early Saturday morning which began when Sir Cat jumped on me at 5:30? That's better than yesterday, however, when I woke myself up at 4:00. But I don't want to write about sleep or health (although I feel compelled to insert a deep groan at this point) or grandkids. You'd think that with all that transpires in this vast world, I'd have been ruminating upon some topic or other, but the fact of the matter is that my world has more or less shrunk to the dimensions of the kids' living room where we watch over Nikki Dee and Zachary: bless their tiny tottish but energy sapping, little hearts.

... pause while AC sits and stares at the screen ... and he's got something ... not much, but something ...

Without feeling very inspired about it, I think I will say something about the Olympics, presently transpiring in Vancouver and elsewhere in British Columbia.

Previously, Canada has hosted two Olympics: the 1976 games in Montreal and the 1988 winter games in Calgary, and we possess the dubious distinction of being the only host country to have never won a gold medal. We've won them elsewhere but not at home. We were so good at not winning golds that we managed to accomplish that in both Montreal and Calgary in both summer and winter if you please. Well, we've been getting better in more recent Olympiads, and at the halfway point this time around we have four gold medals.

Which is all very nice but ...

Our Olympic committee invented the slogan Own The Podium for this event. It seems that our athletes were no longer to be satisfied with just competing but were to go for the gold. I do understand that these events are a competition and that the ultimate idea in any competition is to win. On the other hand, the flip side of that notion is also to hold your head high if you've done your best and not emerged victorious. There's something to be said for participating in the struggle, and I opine that the Own The Podium mantra fails to recognize that.

In any event, I have never fancied the slogan. Saying something doesn't necessarily make it happen. Canada is currently standing fourth in the medal count, which is very good, and I think that most of us are pleased with that modest degree of success. But let's face it, the USA really owns the podium, and all of the slogans in the world won't change that. I'd rather not talk brashly than have to eat my own words. Besides it's so un-Canadian as we tend to be a modest self-effacing bunch.


Anonymous said...

O Canada has always been a great host to the Olympics and I must say I'm so proud of you guys for winning gold on your own turf. Outstanding job! You are a very humble and gracious brothers of the north. One thing for sure is that you have those handsome Canaian mounties that.. well, what can I say but..they take the prize!
You need to post on those guys sometime! Have a great weekend!:)
The Bach

Bernie said...

Own the Podium....I enjoy seeing them even get near it, but these Olympics have been so much fun.
The USA athletes are doing very well A/C but when you compete against at least 20 top people to represent your country you are bound to be good....Now Canadians I think are appointed just like our senators......LOL
Enjoy as we only have a week left.
........:-) Hugs

Allyson said...

But, if you put things into perspective, I'd say that Canada does own the podium.

USA population = 300 million
Canada population = 30 million
USA medals = 20
Canada medals = 8

The fact that the USA only has about double what Canada has, but they have about 10 times the population speaks to how awesome Canada really is. Per-capita, we are soaring miles ahead.

Barry said...

We may not "own" the podium but we sure seem to be renting it fairly frequently.

I'm glad the stigma of lacking a gold medal at home has been laid to rest. I was sure getting tire of hearing that.

dabrah said...

Well done to Canadian athletes. We have one gold which Amy Williams just won in the Women's Skeleton yesterday. Apparently this is the first gold for an individual winter event in 30 years, so a long awaited win.

Anonymous said...

Everything is relative and I agree Allyson. I love Canada and all the Canadians and that is because of the great bloggers I have met. If I ever move to another country it would be Canada. I love being your neighbor. Such good manners.

JunieRose2005 said...


Very nice post today. As for me I have not even been keeping up with the Olympics as I've not been well for several days.

Wanted to thank you for stopping by my place and to let you know I left a comment to your comment there! :) yah-I do it that way! :)

Have a good evening,


Lorna said...

I missed the to-do about Own the Podium until yesterday, when I found it kind of rah-rah. I think I can link my grumpy feeling to that moment.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you on this one A/C. I have never liked this slogan from the get-go and almost feel embarrassed by it. It just doesn't feel very

Not that we don't strive for excellence... that I believe we do. And just one more note on this Olympic subject. I am so proud to see the support we as Canadians are giving to all the atheletes... Canadian or not.

Ginnie said...

I'm not a great sports woman and a big part of that is because the EGO seems to play such a huge part in competitive sports.
I really dislike the slogan and I agree that it doesn't seem to fit with my idea of Canada & Canadians.

Ruth said...

I am tired of watching Canadian athletes having to apologize on air for letting their country down because they didn't win a medal. The expectations have been over the top. True Olympians often finish well without winning.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Enough said.

Murr Brewster said...

I'm watching from Oregon, and I wince whenever I hear the crowd chant U S A! I wish we could just get over our big old selves. I wonder if Canada would let me in. Of course, I wondered the same thing about Oregon 35 years ago ("Visit, But Don't Stay").

I'm writing on the last day of the Olympics, and I do believe you've got a hockey team all over that podium. Well done.