Thursday, February 20, 2014

“I shot and it went in,”

Marie-Philip Poulin, on her goal to win the Gold Medal for Canada at Sochi Olympics.


I loved watching that victory. Come from behind with time ticking away, against the rival to force overtime. If we had not even won, dayenu.

It is what sport is about, and it is what myth making is about. In the book 'Plucky, Never-Give-Up, Eternally Underdog Canadians', another chapter is written. It is wonderful and glorious and it is the very best of jingoism. I had a better day today because Canada won. I feel better about myself because Canada won. I feel better about the people around me because Canada won. The food tastes better and the water is sweeter because Canada won.

And while it would be a nice victory in a vacuum, it elicits the response it does in me because of the fashion in which Canada won. We won like good ol' Canadians should. Coming from behind, fighting against adversity, back against the walls, as the underdog. Like the myth demands.

For a Gold Medal, a symbol of the Champion originating from the very land of the gods of Olympus.

It is so perfect as to be unbelievable. Surely this was scripted?

Sports are magic. Sometimes I get to thinking that Sports are just a way to punish oneself. You need some displeasure in your life, and may you blessed that it only comes from something as jovial as Sport. You follow a team and, for most, it doesn't win. Most fans have their hopes raised only to be dashed to pieces on the sharp, cold rocks of reality. But then you win, and in such a way. It is magic. Your soul soars. You are inspired. You can't help but be.

And you get to have these emotions, you have a right to at least a small sliver of the joy of the women in red and white who had to play the game and shoulder the actual responsibility to deliver victory, because you are Canadian.