Was there anything more heartbreaking than watching the glazed eyes and quivering chins of those adolescent cherubic faces on the Canadian World Junior team? I mean, most of these kids aren’t legally allowed to have a post game beer until they drive back across the border, and yet here they are, the weight of a nation bearing down on them, along with the ghosts of every big hockey game that came before theirs, and the crush of their own expectations. We cheer them like professional men, but when all is said and done, they are devastated teenage boys. It tweaked my inner Mom genes, and made me want to run out on the ice and give them all a big hug. (then slap them hard with a “snap out of it!” Cher impression)
I personally don’t think there is anything shameful about a silver medal. It’s a silver fucking medal! In all of the world, you were 2nd best! That’s fucking Awesome!! The closest most of us will ever get to any medal is watching a podium ceremony on tv! I have been truly blessed in that I got to actually hold Olympic Gold, Silver & Bronze medals (thanks again Cindy Klassen! you rock lady!) I shook. I teared up. I felt like I had won just by being near them! and my lazy ass didn’t do anything to earn that! (and never will!)
I think that anyone that reaches an elite level in any sport, and puts themselves and their blood, sweat and tears on the line in pursuit of the ultimate prize is already a winner just by virtue of being in the show.
I cheer and cry for those countries that come to the Olympics with a single athlete. I watch the last 20 mins of the Ironman broadcast when they show those last few people who cross the finish line in the dark, long after their eligibility had expired and the crowds had left.
I like the underdogs. I like the guts over the glory.
Face it, for all our bravado, we Canadian’s knew in our hearts that Gold was a long shot this year. This was a young, green, and at times, broken team. Gutsy, come from behind playing and a lot of luck got us to tonight. Gutsy, come from behind playing and a lot of heart got Russia the Gold tonight. The Canadian team themselves said that the Russian team heading into tonight’s game was not the same team they defeated early in the tournament. Yes, it was close to being a fairy tale ending but our boys just ran out of gas.
“It’s not how many times you fall that matters, it’s how many times you get back up.”
So, we’ll get back up. We’ll move forward. We’ll get em next time.
In the meantime, ya done good kids! Don’t let anyone, especially your inner critic, tell you any different. Thanks for giving Canada, and this old broad, something to get fired up over for a couple of cold, dark nights in January.