The hashtag WeAreWinter has been trending on Twitter in Canada during the recent Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
A Mexican friend, who moved to Canada a couple years ago, recently said she’s noticed that Canada seems to have about two or three months of summer and the rest of the year is winter.
Yeah, that sounds about right. Maybe that’s why we seem to excel at winter sports and care more about the Winter Olympics than the Summer Olympics. Whether it be hockey, curling, figure skating, speed skating, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding etc., there’s lots of opportunity to training for these sports in Canada.
As I write this, Canada is coming off a couple great days at the Olympics. First it was “Ladies Day” where both our women’s curling team and women’s hockey team took home gold medals. This was followed up by “Mens Day” where the men’s curling team also walked away with gold and the men’s hockey team beat our neighbours to the south – USA – in the semi-final game scoring them a ticket to the finals against Sweden.
Hockey and curling are two winter sports that we particularly excel in. Hockey is known as Canada’s game. And if we don’t win at our own game than we’re very disappointed.
Growing up in rural Canada, hockey and curling, along with many other winter sports, are a way of life. Everyone participates in some way. You have to pass the long winter days somehow.
I remember walking to the local skating rink and curling rink for gym classes in our small town school. I remember participating in community curling bonspiels. I remember going to public skating at the local rink. I remember participating in the community figure skating carnival – we dressed up in costumes and demonstrated what we’d learned on the ice. I remember having a season ticket at the local ski hill – it was by no means the mountains but it did the trick. I remember attending my brothers hockey games. And did we ever love those “rink burgers” as we called them, along with all the other candy at the canteen. I also remember shovelling snow off one of our frozen dugouts (ponds) on the farm so we could skate on that. Perhaps it was all of this that led to our love of winter sports.
Participating in sports is important because it teaches you so many valuable skills such as teamwork, hard work and dedication. These skills can be applied to other areas of your life such as your career and relationships.
And while it’s always nice to come out on top, sometimes that doesn’t happen. So it’s important to always be graceful and classy in defeat. No one likes a sore loser. May the best individual or team win, and sometimes you’re not the best. This is another important life lesson you can learn from sports.
The Canadian athletes did the country proud at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
And that’s because Canada is winter!
Check out the #WeAreWinter film series on the Canadian Olympic Team website.