Let’s be honest, when it comes to chest thumping, fist pumping patriotism the USA has had the rest of the world licked in a lot of ways. While it’s an admirable quality, it can also be viewed as being arrogant and perhaps ignorant, especially when they vocally view countries like Canada, for example, as a land of frozen plains covered in igloos, dotted with forests cut down by lumberjacks and beavers.
The closing ceremony last night did little to dispel some of these false concepts. But it was just Canada “taking the piss”, out of Canada in a way that is an amazing and admirable trait and one that perhaps the USA struggles to grasp.
So you can imagine my delight and surprise when a couple of examples of “Canadian love” shown by those yanks in the media were brought to my attention today (thanks TB & @jlmckenzie).
Tom Brokaw Explains Canada to Americans
The first example is fantastic for two reasons. First, it’s a piece presented by respected NBC newsman Tom Brokaw. Secondly, it’s a well-presented educational piece which dispels false perceptions and presents a balanced look at Canada and how it’s important to the USA in many, many ways. Make sure you check it out, below, wherever you are in the world. I guarantee you will learn a thing or two about Canada that you don’t know right now.
Canada is a Winter Games wonderland
The second example, I have to be honest, brought a lump to my throat on more than one occasion. I am so proud of Vancouver, its people that have so generously adopted me over last 5 years, and the amazing show of enthusiasm, support and hospitality that has been shown over past 2 weeks of Olympic competition. The article which was brought to my attention today, is penned by LA Times journalist Bill Plaschke.
Chronicling his experiences in Vancouver with his 15-year-old daughter, Mary Clare, during his stint here, the article presents Vancouver in a surprisingly glowing light in a way, as I said earlier, that had me swallowing lumps. And while he’s not alone amongst international journos who have released similar stories over the past few days, he’s a yanky-doodle-dandy American and that, to me, means a lot!
Make sure you check out the full story here on the LA Times website, but here’s the few paragraphs that really hit “home” with me:
He appeared to be in his late 20s. He was wearing a scruffy beard, a pale bandanna, and wild stare. He jumped in front of Mary Clare on a darkened patch of sidewalk and started shouting.
“Eh, eh, eh!” he said.
She froze. Her brave and resourceful father also, um, froze.
At which point the man stuck out his hand.
“High-five, eh?” he said. “Great game, America. You won fair and square. We’ll see you in the finals.”
Before disappearing into the shadows, the man looked back at me with what appeared to be a wink.
“I know what you were thinking, but that’s not how we do it here,” he said. “We’re Canadian.”
So, it seems that this little event they call the “2010 Winter Olympics” that we had here over the past couple of weeks has not only united and strengthened the bond between all Canadians, it seems to have motivated a new found respect from our patriotic neighbours south of the border. And that can only be a good thing!
UPDATE: The whinging bloody poms have a change of heart…
Ok, so I just found another great article, but this time from the BBC. But first, remember that pommie boofhead who had the audacity to suggest:
It is hard to believe anything will surpass the organisational chaos and naked commercial greed of the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta or the financial disaster of the 1976 Games, which bankrupted Montreal, yet with every passing day the sense of drift and nervousness about the Vancouver Games grows ever more noticeable.
I say audacity because of two simple things.
- The British showing at the 2010 Vancouver winter Olympics. One well deserved Gold… and well… that’s it. Even Australia did better than that (2G, 1S). Credibility for Mr Donegan as result… next to nil.
- Do I even have to bring up the subject of that 2012 logo? There’s a colossal calamity from the get-go.
Well now it seems that James Pearce is suggesting on his BBC Blog that perhaps the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics could have been the best Winter version ever with comments like:
In Beijing there was little buzz around the city. Yes, they were a fantastic Games in terms of quality of venues and competition, but not in terms of the amount of fun that people were having. Here the street party began on the opening night and it shows no signs of coming to an end just yet.
One senior official from London 2012, who’s been in Vancouver, told me that she’s learned more from five days in Canada than she had from three weeks in China. That’s because, in terms of spectator experience, London will be looking to follow the Vancouver model.
Good to read and I wish London all the very best of luck in a couple of years time!