So, the Olympics are over, and I’ll have to admit that I greatly enjoyed myself the past 17 days. Before this, I had never been an Olympic enthusiast… it actually kind of bored me. But I have to say that being in the host country has greatly enhanced the experience for me. I guess all the hype and excitement portrayed every day in the media and felt by the people around me got to me and I ended up being as the biggest fan of Olympic sports.
Throughout the 17 days of this adventure, I was kind of stuck in the middle, as I cheered for my homeland of France, as well as for my adopted home of Canada. I’ll admit I cheered louder for Canada. But then could I help it? I was, after all, surrounded and outnumbered!
These Olympic games were for me an opportunity to discover what the games are really about. Sports, yes. But also collaboration and inter-country relations. They were also an opportunity to discover a new facet of this land that I have come to love: Canada. Never had I seen such open display of Canadian pride and love for their country. The sheer amount of Canadian flags on display was just mind-boggling. I loved it. I also rediscovered how wonderful the Canadian people are: caring, proud, welcoming… I mean, I already knew, but seeing such flagrant displays of their wonderfulness was just pure awesomeness for me.
The most surprising thing that happened to me over the course of these games was a new found respect for the sport of curling. I swear to God, after watching a couple of games, it became totally addictive. When watching the women’s and men’s finals, I was more excited about the sport than I was watching the hockey final. That is definitely a sport I will keep watching and will follow during the next Olympics.
Overall, I am very proud of the results of the Canadian athletes. They did end up owning the podium after all, with their 14 gold medals ( a record for any country in the Winter olympics!). I am happy I opened my mind to become a part of the Olympic adventure in Vancouver 2010. And I am happy to have discovered, as I watched, some amazing athletes with some amazing stories.
I’ll end this post with my favorite Olympic moment. As Alexandre Bilodeau won the first gold medal ever on Canadian soil, he was cheered on by his older brother, Frederic, who has cerebral palsy. The highlights of these games, for me, was watching the cheer happiness and pride that Frederic showed at his brother’s success, and watching them hug it out after the gold medal run. That was a beautiful moment, and I cried like a baby.
Good job Canada on throwing such amazing winter games!