Going for (insert G-word here)

Today is the last day of the Vancouver Olympics. Now, I am forced to admit that for the first week and a half, I paid almost no attention. This wouldn’t be unusual for me – I’m not a sports fan in the least – but I live in Vancouver. There has been so much hype about the Olympics for the past few years, good and bad, that I’ve sort of shut it out. When a friend on Facebook started a countdown one day, it took me a minute to realize she wasn’t going on vacation.

Ah, yes, I thought. The Olympics. (And now that I write that word – the O-word – I’m wondering if I’m allowed. Some of the negative hype over the years has been the list of words VANOC “owned” and threatened serious repercussions if they were found in print. Some of these words are fairly innocuous, such as “2010”, “winter”, and “gold”.)

What brought out my Olympic Spirit (there’s that O-word again!) was, of course, HOCKEY! And I’m not a hockey fan. Vancouver is a big hockey town, yet in the 20 years I’ve lived here I’ve been to one Canucks game about three years ago, and I won the tickets through work. I’ve never watched a televised game in its entirety, though I’ve been known to watch portions during the Stanley Cup. Yet I’ve watched three in the past week, one of them between Slovakia and Sweden, and I was not a passive observer. I was into it. Like the last 2 minutes of the Canada vs. Slovakia game, when, as the timer on the last period fell below eight minutes, Slovakia was quickly closing the 3-0 gap, and scored 2 goals in about 4 minutes? Ohmygawd, that was a nail-biting, amazing, driven bit of hockey.

Okay…okay. I’m alright now. Just a little flushed. And with just 20 minutes until Game 30, I better finish this blog.

This morning, I began to wonder about my sudden interest. There have been (insert O-word here) before, when both the Men’s and the Women’s hockey team brought home the (insert G-word here), and every year there are the World’s and the Stanley Cup. Obviously the fact that the games are all here plays a large role, but that can’t be it. It’s our game on our soil (which, in Vancouver this year, has not been touched by snow). Canada is watching with us, cheering with us. We have the chance, every four years, to prove to the world that this is our game. This time, it’s home-field advantage.

As the Coca-Cola commercial goes: Let’s make sure they know whose game they’re playing.


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