I’m not inspired by the Olympics this year; this year I’ve been inspired by the people around me. The people I see on TV and that I don’t know aren’t having the same effect. As a child I imagined that with an unexplainable miracle I would be the fastest or the strongest or the best. I was a sprinter in the summer Olympics because I knew I couldn’t run far. And during the winter Olympics I would jump around the living room pretending I was a figure skater.
(This year I started running, and in my first year of university I joined the Figure Skaters Association of Canada. I had very accomplished skaters teach me a few tricks as I would skate 2 or 3 days a week.)
This year I’m not that interested in what is going on in Vancouver. I feel that you can’t be defined as a person if all you do is train to shave hundreds of a second off your time while you try to make it down a hill faster than everyone else for one moment every four years.
Lately, I’ve been asking questions while trying to make up opinions about things. I wonder if I would I be one of those people who were out in the streets before the opening ceremonies protesting the Olympics, asking if the millions of dollars could go into something other than an Olympic city that is used for one week. Asking if the Olympics are really worth it and will it ever pay for itself? Is that mean? Does this point of view make me a bad person? A boring person? Does that make me wrong? Does it make me a hypocrite when I turn around and get excited when Sidney Crosby helps Canada beat Switzerland in a shoot out?
I’m not anti-athlete; I’m sponsoring a friend that I used to work with, on her marathon for a cure for blood cancer. I was moved when I read her write up, and the respect I have for her has stayed with me through the years and I really felt inspired. I know it’s as important to have athletic role models in the world as it is to have creative and artistic role models.
My favorite Olympic memories: the golden wins of our hockey teams.
My most prominent Olympic memory was watching Kurt Browning and Elvis Stojko skating without getting Olympic gold. Here were people that won competition after competition and were considered the best in the world and they couldn’t win gold at the Olympics. In my heart, it didn’t matter if they got gold in one 5 minute period in their life. For me it matters how a life is lived as a whole.