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Why All the Hating on Canada?

The Olympics are over.  Right, I know, I really didn’t need to tell you that.  But they are over, and let the speculation begin.  As with any other Olympics, people will continue to compare these games to all the other Winter Olympic Games since 1924.  For me these Olympics were special because although I am American, part of my heart will always belong to Canada.  I spent a few years in Canada going to university, and I’ll be honest, while I was there I fell in love with the place.  The people, the land and just the atmosphere are unbelievable.  So what bugged me about this Olympics was all the hating on Canada.  People were so focused on Lindsey Vonn that they probably missed Tom Brokaw’s “love letter” to Canada.  This inspiring piece shows us Americans, especially those of us who don’t know much about our northerly neighbor, that Canada is more than just funny accents and stereotypes.  Canada has been a friend to our nation in our greatest need.  They were with us in WWII, they were with us on 9/11 and they were and still are our strongest ally in our “fight on terror” around the world.  In a time when very few nations wanted to help us go to war in Afghanistan, Canadian soldiers were fighting and dying there right along American soldiers.  So again, let me ask “Why all the hating on Canada?”  We teased them about their Own the Podium program without really understanding what it was.  Of course every nation wants to be at the top of the medal count, and if I said I wasn’t super proud of all the Americans that represented my country and helped us to win the most medals, then I’d be lying.

Own the Podium was designed to increase funding and help instill a since of excitement and pride in Canadian athletes. Don’t we do the same thing here with our athletes? Before this Olympics Canada had never won a gold medal on home soil.  That means in the 1976 summer games in Montreal and in the 1988 winter games in Calgary, Canada was never able to stand on top of the podium.  In these Vancouver games Canada won 14 gold medals.  That is not only a record for Canada, but it is now an Winter Olympic Games record for the most gold medals by a single country in one Winter Olympics.  So did Own the Podium fail? I hardly think so.  I only hope they keep it up (as with every other country) because if they don’t some of our sports could go the way of women’s softball and men’s baseball.

My point is, there is nothing wrong with cheering on the good US of A, God knows I was, but why do we have to cheer against our good friends up north? The Olympics are a place where athletes go, after years of hard work, and play their hardest for their countries.  At the end of the day, and this is tradition in Olympic history, when the games are over the athletes are supposed to leave the games as citizens of the world, not one nation.   We are all on this planet and the Olympics, more than anything else, are a celebration of humanity, not the country with the most medals at the end.

p.s. My link to the CBC article has a video of what aired just prior the Olympics, but NBC has taken it down due to copyright violations. I was able to find the video on YouTube, but who knows how long it will be up before NBC takes it down.


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