Plenty to cheer

There wasn’t a dry eye in our household when we watched the Dufour-Lapointe sisters receive their gold and silver medals as the Canadian flags rose above their heads.
On Saturday, we watched how excited 19-year-old Justine was when she nudged out her sister, Chloe, to capture the gold. And when she realized she had won, she let out a shriek of excitement as she danced across the snow.
Her tears of happiness flowed down her cheeks as they did in our household.
As a Canadian, I’m always amazed at our athletes and their achievements. My heart bursts with pride when they compete.
Not to be outdone, our figure skaters received the silver medal—falling to the host Russians—in the inaugural team competition, which pitted the elite of the elite against each other.
And one can’t help but be amazed by Mark McMorris, who rode a broken back rib to a bronze-medal finish in the men’s slopestyle, a new event to the Olympics.
On Monday, Canadian Charles Hamelin captured a gold medal in the 1,500-metre short-track speedskating event. The win immediately was followed up with a gigantic kiss to his girlfriend.
Four years ago, a similar win and kiss was flashed around the world on YouTube.
Later Monday, defending Olympic champ Alexandre Bilodeau took the gold while Mikael Kingsbury earned silver as Canada took the top two podium spots in men’s moguls
The tears of joy, and the emotion with families, tells us a lot about the Games and our athletes. Even when they fail to achieve a medal, they speak emotionally about what it means to compete for Canada at the Olympics.
And as Canadians, we live vicariously in their world.
We cringe when we see a mistake. We share their pain when they fall. We feel their emotional pain when they come up short in their sport. As Canadians, we would like to wrap our arms around all of our athletes and give them huge hugs for just representing us on the world stage.
Our Canadian athletes keep proving to us that we can compete on even terms with all the nations of the world. They are building in us a Canadian sense of pride and for that we always will be indebted to them.
Most of the sports are not team driven but individual events, where the athlete is alone in their performance. A momentary hesitation, a 100th of a second, a slight wobble, or a slip of a ski can be all the difference between receiving a medal or falling short.
Locally, we like to grab on to neighbours and feel that they are our own athletes. Eric Radford, who originally hails from Red Lake, has all of Northwestern Ontario rooting for him when he and Meagan Duhamel take to the ice.
The pair have been adopted as family by all Northern Ontarians.
Over the next two weeks, we will continue to see more athletic prowess as skaters and skiers show off new skills to the world. Traditional sports of hockey and curling will get our hearts beating as we cheer on truly Canadian sports.
Let’s continue to cheer on Canadians.

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