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.


Gary Corby said...

I do wonder about that from time to time. Two countries separated by a somewhat arbitrary border.

Do you think Canada & the US a few hundred years from now might be one country? Or doesn't one mention such heresy?

Katt said...

Thanks from the neighbors!

Susan at Stony River said...

I enjoyed your tweets while the Olympics were going -- we don't have a television so mine were online too. One night several Irish folks tweeted variants of "Irish bobsled team coming up!" followed a minute later by others that said "we have a bobsled team?!"

It's good to see that photo bigger than a thumbnail too; wonderful!

Kari Lynn Dell said...

Gary: It's hard to imagine the circumstances that would make the US and Canada one country. They have such a strong British/French tradition and such a different approach to politics I think it would take a major calamity, either economic or in the form of a natural disaster, to bring us together.

Susan: The Irish will always have their runners.

Cynthia D'Alba said...

What an exciting hockey game last night. As my husband said last night, if we're not going to win, I'm just glad it was Canada!

Kiddo doesn't want no stickin' haircut. He needs it to keep his head warm up there! :)

Bill Kirton said...

I enjoyed the games, too and the impression came across that, despite the snide, picky comments about the things that went wrong (such as the weather - which, obviously, the games organisers should have controlled more strictly), this was a good games played in the spirit they were originally designed to promote. As for the border issue, I read a thing in the paper this morning about a move to declare your part of the world a separate country - Cascadia. The points they were making echo yours.

Weekend Cowgirl said...

Yes, I am going to miss all the Twitter Olympic chatter. Very cute little boy! It was a great Olympics...