kevin-canada-olympics

The Olympics were an interesting time for me. On one hand it was amazing to see Vancouver take the world’s centre stage for 2 weeks. To see all these places I used to call part of my “home” and listen to my friends’ stories about how awesome the Heineken House was, or any number of amazing experiences they were able to have.

On the other hand, while I was super excited for my friends to be experiencing such an amazing event first-hand, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t an element of pain associated with all the things I just mentioned as well. A sort of “I’m supposed to be there!” kind of feeling that tainted the Olympic experience for me… or at least it did at first.

Thankfully that painful feeling got less and less intense as the days wore on and I enjoyed the Olympics, both on TV and vicariously through my friends, more and more. But it was the Closing Ceremonies when they did the spot on how Canada will own you that something finally hit me… I belong to Canada.

I had already noticed how I was cheering for all the Canadian athletes more than the US, but I chalked it up to current geographic location at the time. Watching the Closing Ceremonies though, I realized it wasn’t just because I didn’t want to get beat up for cheering for Americans, it was because I truly wanted Canada to win. I wanted MY country to win… and it is MY country whether or not I can vote here or have a Canadian passport.

In the 5 years I’ve been here, Canada has slowly but surely taken me over. When I lived in Vancouver I thought I was only in love with the city… not the whole country- but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I’m so proud to live in Canada. To be part of such a great country and influenced by a people who in large part are immensely multi-cultural, accepting, welcoming, kind and proud. Canada put its best foot forward during these Olympic Games and truly showed the world what amazing people live here, and I am proud to be counted among them.

I watched Canada beat the US in the gold medal hockey game at the curling rink right with the rest of the Riverdale League looking on. When it went to overtime I, unfortunately, had to leave and was walking home when Crosby scored the winning goal. I was wearing my red Hudson’s Bay CANADA Olympic hoodie and Toronto seemed to explode around me. Suddenly everyone on the street was yelling, pointing at my hoodie and giving me the thumbs up. Horns were honking, people were whooping all over the place… it was INSANE- and I loved every minute of it! Even after I got up to my apartment I could hear the streets going crazy with horns and people, and it lasted for hours- even on the complete other side of the country than where the Olympics were being held. It moved me more than any experience I while living in Salt Lake City during the Olympics, that’s for sure.

So, well done Canada. Well done, and thanks for letting me be one of you!