Sunday, February 28, 2010


In studies, by those who study such things, it's been found that just before an orgasm, muscles tense up, the brain receives pain signals, and the body spasms accordingly. This infinitesimal moment of pain allows the climax to seem even greater than it could from the elevated levels of pleasure already being experienced.

Canada came all over itself today.

Sitting in front of the TV, surrounded by dozens of fans in the bar, hundreds in the building, millions in the city, and tens of millions in the country, we all tensed in pain with but a handful of seconds left in regulation time. Team USA had scored the tying goal against the unbelievable Roberto Luongo and Team Canada. Suddenly, victory was seriously in question. Our 14th gold medal, and many would argue the most important, was now going to be decided in overtime, or worse... a shootout.

A pall fell over crowds from one coast to the other. Silence enveloped the country. Shock, awe, and pure disbelief stretched across our home and native land.

Then they came back on the ice. 4-on-4. And with them came hope. This was OUR team, at OUR games, and OUR sport. These were the best of the best on the ice. We could do this. We WOULD do this. 33 million fans started pounding tables, clapping hands, and cheering. Our hearts started to beat as one. The tension was still there, but now, instead of pain, it was anticipation.

And then, just over 7 minutes into the extra period, our superstar, Sidney Crosby, FINALLY scored. When it mattered most, the Kid came through. And he got the puck from the heart and soul of the team in Jarome Iginla. The eruption that occurred was 10x what it would have been had the clock just run down 20 minutes earlier.

And once we were all spent and collapsed in relaxed, joyful heap? It dawned on us that the whole damn thing was pretty good. Not just the amazing game that had transpired, nor the hockey tournament, but the entire games. We got that "first gold on home soil" thing out of the way early, and while our medal pace was slow at first, it picked up quickly in the second week. Sure, we didn't get the most medals in the game, as had been hoped by the "Own the Podium" group, but we got more than we've ever had. We broke the record for most gold medals by ANY country in the Winter Games. 14 golds, 26 medals, for a country of 33 million. If anyone can say that isn't a success, you can tell them I said they're a moron. Oh, and so much of that came after the pain of the first week, where disappointing finishes put us far off track for the success we desired. Again, making the wins that much sweeter.

I'm biased, sure, but this was the best games ever. Delays and glitches and weather happen everywhere. They got through them. And while there was tragedy, there was joy as well. The good greatly outweighed the bad.

And people watched. More than expected. More than hoped. Something about all this captured the attention of people all over the world. Canada was on display to the world, and I, for one, think they put on a hell of a show.

For those who aren't in this country, you can't possibly understand the effect it's had here. There's a sense of nationalism that has been missing for years. It stretches across the country in a way that I haven't seen before. Canadians realized it was okay to say that we're awesome. To brag about our accomplishments. To want MORE wins and MORE success. And to be PISSED OFF when we don't get it. Will it stick around? Definitely not at full force, but I'm sure it will constantly be bubbling just below the surface. It will be seen in the cracked smiles that appear when reminders of these last two weeks are encountered. And 4 years from now in Russia, it will erupt once again. Because now we know what we can accomplish, and looking at all those 4th and 5th place finishes will remind us that we can get way, way more.

These Olympics are a watershed moment for Canada. At a time when Canadians needed to be reminded who they were and how connected we are, this fueled a pride and patriotism unheard of in this Great White North.

It was so good, we'll be coming back for more. World, you're on notice.


VinNay said...

Okay, you won. Now go land on the moon, motherfuckers.

In all seriousness, it was one hell of a game. Congrats on the win, I'm already looking forward to Sochi.

Fuel55 said...

absolutely phenomenal games.

lightning36 said...

Off to a bad start, but one hell of a recovery! Yes -- the games were perceived as excellent by most in the USA. We were pleased with our performances, and Canada did an excellent job hosting -- and trouncing. A tip of the hat -- extremely well done.

BamBam said...

I <3 this post!

Shrike said...

I couldn't be more pleased with how the games ended.


Katitude said...

nicely said, as usual!