Canadians are low key – hardly known for hand over heart bellows of our national anthem, flags flapping in our yards or verbalizations of national pride. We tend to keep to ourselves, quietly minding our own business and speaking politely. We’re used to coming in second, watching from the sidelines and doing our best. There is however one thing we do extremely well – Canada kicks hockey ass.
The Vancouver 2010 Olympics can only be described as exhilarating – not simply because it is my home town – I sensed Canadian pride for the first time in my life. I witnessed a transformation; a shift in our perspective, a collective ripple of identity swelling to waves of confidence. Those games changed us – never have I felt prouder to be Canadian. Like the little engine that could, Canadian media asked us to “believe”. I believe became the anthem of those games – Canada embraced “believe”, a concept culminating in the Canada vs. USA men’s hockey final.
At game time the city was deserted; not a car, not a sound, not a thought to anything other than “believing” we could do it. Thousands gathered downtown, eyes searching for screens as silent anticipation took hold. Despite a tied game headed for overtime – we still believed.
I’ll never forget the roar, the eruption of sound when Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal. Canada changed that day – we learned it was possible to “believe”.
In a few hours Canada faces Sweden in the gold medal hockey final. It doesn’t matter I have to work early in the morning – not to me, not to millions of Canadians who learned believing was possible. Canadians will politely set aside everything but their belief we can do it again.