I have Olympic fever. I absolutely love it. And so do my girls. They’ve been learning about the Olympics at school. We discussed the Olympics on our way home the other day. I have to say, the drive home from school is usually the most fascinating eight minutes of my day.
Our discussion went something like this. “What did you guys learn at school today?” Three – “I learned the Go-lympics.” “Oh? What are the Go-lympics?” Four -“That’s when everybody in the world runs with fire and joins together to cheer for the Canadian Flames.” (I think we had some crossover between our country, the torch, and Daddy’s a Flames fan). “Wow. What are we cheering for?” They both thought about this for a few seconds. Three – “For love!” Four – “No. For winning.” That’s when they got me. Are we cheering for Canada to win? Yes. Of course we are. But what about when we don’t win…do we still cheer? Yes. For love? Maybe. Love of country. Love of sport. Love of our Canadian athletes, who have put in countless hours for most of their short lives to be where they are…right at this moment. And what do they do it for? Not money. Not fame. (Except for a few minutes and a jug of beer). For a gold medal? Maybe. For the love of an entire country? That sounds pretty good.
I always find it interesting that when our athletes are interviewed after a disappointing performance the first thing they do is give the most heartfelt apology. To Canada, to their families, to everyone that cheered for them. You never see them stomp off angry because the glass case they had made for their medal will remain empty. Not the Canadians. I think this is a great lesson we can teach our kids as we sit around our TV’s and cheer for our athletes. Cheer for the win… but also for the love.
As we watch them stand poised for their moment, about to take the ice or head down the mountain, I tear up. For the athletes, yes, but also for their parents. Huddled somewhere close by I’m sure, taking their regular spot in the stands or bleachers or by gate seven. A granola bar in their pocket, just in case it’s needed. Tingling with adrenaline and coffee, about to see all the effort, all the sacrifices come to fruition. Most of them just hoping for the same result we hope for now, from our five-year olds. To see a smiling face when it’s all over. Win or no win, Go Canadian Flames!