Archive for March, 2010

Olympic hindsight

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Something as grandiose as the Olympics, on both a commercial and a human scale, is difficult to grasp – especially when it sweeps through your very own city in a blur of electricity and noise.  Living in Vancouver, BC during these recently past 2010 Winter Olympic games, there is a lot I observed about this event that I found unsettling and also, much I enjoyed.  But underneath its unfathomable, colossal proportions – at the core of athletic competition – there remains something inspiring for all: human emotions, naked as the day they were first felt.

“Exquisite victory, agonizing defeat, disappointment, regret, grief, shame, sorrow and love, everything a human being can feel, is right there in front of you on your television set.  Who cannot respond?  It is irresistible”. Globe & Mail; March 2010; Blatchford, C.

The personalities of the broadcasting networks for the Olympics lay the groundwork for the general public to connect to these athletes through their stories.  And it is through these stories that we are able to associate and root for the once “stranger” in a sport that may  be completely foreign to us or may have never interested us in the slightest before.  We connect to the inspiring journey of the human spirit in a focused, pin point viewing enveloped in the intensity of competitive sport and the celebration of one of the largest events in the world that only comes around once every four years.  The journey of sacrifice, joy, sorrow and love is on in full display and it is compelling.

I am truly thankful that I was in Vancouver during this momentous occasion.  There were many struggles in putting on these games, from the poor weather conditions at Cypress, to the death of luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, to the emotional and physical struggles of the athletes themselves,  but despite all of this, one thing remains brilliantly obvious and I think John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer for the Vancouver Organizing Committee of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, distilled it best:  “No force can sustain itself against the full thrust of a determined human heart”.



Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

“My mom is gonna kill me” – not the words you want to hear coming from a seven year old.

A rousing game of capture the flag was played yesterday on a large soccer (football) field that was recovering from a rainfall a couple of days past.  It was deceiving how the field presented itself – green and even.  Underneath lay wet soil, ready to knock the first kid on its ass that decided to take a run at it.

In the first five minutes of play, a seven year old girl slips, falls and wears the tracks, patches and streaks of mud and water all over her back and legs.

“My mom is gonna kill me”.

Ten minutes later a seven year old boy slips, falls and has a comparably large soil stain all over his back and bum.

“My mom is gonna kill me”, he re-iterates.

Fifteen minutes later the game is finished and the two are comparing size and grossness of stain and whose mom will kill their offspring more.  I can only assume “more” means a particularly gruesome and/or torturous murder leaving  the child who loses the argument of “more” to return home pleased with the knowledge that their own death will be swift and relatively painless.

There is something morbid and wrong about parents who give their child the impression that if they get their clothes dirty they will never see the light of day again.

These two kids spent the majority of the remainder of the game worrying about their certain fate.

“I am so gonna die”.

These are clothes.
If you don’t want them dirty, let your kids run naked.  They’d prefer it this way.

These are kids.
If you don’t want them dirty then…if you don’t want…if you don’t…if…mmm.

These are kids.


**PS – Thank you so much for all of your comments!