Saturday, February 25, 2006

The 2006 Winter Olympics have been quite heartening for Canadians, punctuated by the resounding success of the hockey team, undefeated and outscoring opponents 46-2. I say that they are heartening because the winter sports, all contested over some sort of frozen surface, are the ones of which Canada takes some form of ownership. The fairweather counterpart to these games seems to be a neverending streak of Americans, Russians and Chinese celebrating their prowess at sports, or maybe celebrating the muscular state apparatus that allows them to excel at their various sports.

Not all medals, I would say, are created equal to a given country. A medal for hockey in Finland is not the same as a medal in the javelin or whatever the cherished pursuit of the Finns, and the same is true in hockey-crazed Canada, though I'm hard-pressed to name a javelin-thrower from either country. Seeing the Canadians (you expected me to say "Canadian women", didn't you?) celebrate on ice after a commanding victory over Sweden in the gold medal game was quite special. It is the same way in which I see the aforementioned Americans, Russians and Chinese celebrate anything, the Kenyans and Ethiopians celebrate victory on the track, and Japanese on the judo mat.

No comments: