Sunday, February 28, 2010
My True North
This was my first online Olympics. The first during which I was hooked into a social network (in my case, Twitter) that stretches from Ireland to Australia, Ontario to Florida, Boston to southern California. I have been utterly amazed to realize that not all Americans cheer for the Canadians by default.
In a post a while back I chronicled a trip to Canada, and mentioned that southern Alberta is much more populated than most parts of Montana. There are small towns everywhere, and a good percentage of them host a rodeo at some time during the year. We could, and did, hit nearly every competition on the Chinook Rodeo Association circuit without traveling more than three hours from home. By comparison, there were only two rodeos in Montana within a hundred miles. Most were five to eight hours of highway time.
Many of our best friends growing up were Canadians. Our first boyfriends. The people our parents still keep in touch with, even though our rodeoing has tapered to a near standstill. We went to so many Canadian rodeos, my little brother called O' Canada the "bareback riders get ready song".
Toss in the fact that both my younger brother and sister were born in Cardston, Alberta, a healthy collection of relatives on the north side of the border, and the view of the Hudson Bay Divide out my north-facing window and you might understand why I cheered nearly as hard for the Canadian bobsledders and skiers and skaters as I did for the boys and girls in stars and stripes. It's like competing against your best buddy next door. Sure, you want to win, but it's almost as good if he does.
So congratulations to Canada. It wasn't easy, it wasn't always pretty, but in the end, it was a great Olympics. And yes, in terms of gold medals, you are #1.
And now, from the looks of that picture, it's time to wrestle the kid down and give him a haircut.