Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yay! It's almost the Olympics!

(If this shows up in your reader multiples times, I apologize. I editted after publishing a couple times. Sorry about that. I hope this is the final edit.)

If you remember from my Canadian Bride days, I love the Olympics. I love them less than, say, ten years ago, as I become disillusioned by their ever-more-apparent corruption, but nonetheless, I still love the Olympics.

And this year, we're hosting the world! (Keep in mind that I'm almost as "close" to Vancouver as I am to London, England. Seriously, Marie! Those in Eastern Canada are actually much closer to London, England than Vancouver, Canada!)

The Canadian television station broadcasting the Olympics has done a great p.r. campaign (in my opinion) of hyping us up.

This campaign started almost two years ago, introducing us to some of our greatest hopes, including Patrick Chan (in the third of these commercials):

In every commercial, we are asked, "Do you believe?"

We even had children in later commercials reminding us that we have never won gold on our own soil. "It didn't happen in Calgary. It didn't happen in Montreal." Again, we were asked (by the children), "Do you believe?" There are also French commercials with the same message, as well as commercials aired on varying other language stations / shows (Punjabi, Spanish, Chinese, etc) to get the whole country to believe.

Every commercial is set to music by Oscar winner Howard Shore and narrated by Donald Sutherland's dulcet tones. Never did we see Sutherland, so if you didn't recognize his voice, you might not have realized it was him. Well, this week he appears in his first commercial (not as a voice-over, but as a person) in probably the most Canadian of these ads (and the only one I'd consider outwardly patriotic; we Canucks usually prefer a little more subtlety). No longer does Donald Sutherland ask if we believe, but rather tells us "It's time to believe!" And I'm really excited by this commercials. In fact, I just about jump up and cheer, exclaim that I'm excited about the Olympics (to which Wade replies that he knows and proceeds to roll his eyes), and often I feel tears well up. I'm hyper-emotional like that.

To see more of these fun commercials, just go to you-tube and search Believe commercial Olympics and dozens will pop up (including spoofs and mockeries). The real commercials are also great for introducing us to some less well-known sports like skeleton (doesn't the name give you a hint?!), show you the bravery of overcoming the hazards of pairs figure skating, or the fortitude of overcoming an oppressive country and immigrating to another country for a chance at success in life.
I recommend that if you have 3 minutes, you watch the videos those link to. Trust me, you'll become excited about your country, too, and learn a little bit more about crazy winter sports!

But what else unites us in hope? Hope that this Olympics will let the best rise to the top, hope that we see the best of humanity (Canada will always be indebted to Norway and to Bjørnar Håkensmoen), hope that we don't have doping scandals or IOC scandals, and hope that we will all be united, if only for 15 days.

(As an aside, I am convinced that the majority of IOC executives are corrupt. I am also of the opinion that being caught doping, even if years after the event, should constitute losing your medal. I don't believe in any statute of limitations if you knowingly cheat.)

P.S. I've been really sick the last few days. And rarely (for me), it's not a respiratory-based flu, it's a stomach flu. (Did you know most "24 hour flus" are actually food poisoning? Well, this is not a 24-hour flu, this was a real flu.) I'm feeling better, but I still have the spins if I move too quickly!


  1. Yay Olympics!

    And seriously, click on the "best of humanity" link. I remember watching that moment on live tv and just cheering! I wish I could have found a video for that moment. It was truly selfish.

  2. I love that the Olympics are so close to home.
    Its funny how different it is in the states with ads. When we were in Vancouver in Nov...I saw SOOOO many ads. Here I am, back home in Seattle....only a couple weeks away....I don't think I even see one ad a day for the Olympics. But I bet for you...it's like every 3rd ad! haha

    Go Canada! I still remember when I was little and the games were in Calgary

  3. Yeah, I remember Calgary, too ... though not very well. I think I was 6 at the time, but I do remember a bit. Like the Battle of the Carmens (with Katarina Witt), the Battle of the Brians (too bad our Brian lost!), figure skater Liz Manley, and the Jamaican bobsledders!