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December 2017
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Olympic dilemma

So the past few days have thrown up an interesting dilemma in our house. Who to support during the Olympics – Canada or Team GB?

Let’s take the easy part of the question first. When there is only Canada or Team GB it is easy, we can support the country being represented. However it becomes more challenging when they are both taking part in the same event.

So Canada or Team GB? Would we or should we pass the cricket test?

Some facts to set the scene:

  • Jo, Millie and Sophie born in England, Doug born in Uganda
  • So Doug and Jo have lived more than 30 something years in UK, but 4 in Canada, Millie and Sophie have lived 4 of their 11 years in Canada.
  • Millie and Sophie don’t recognise ‘God save the Queen’ but will sing “Oh Canada’ at the top of their voices
  • “Football” is now called “soccer”, and there is only one kind of hockey and it’s not played on grass

The big challenge came in the women’s soccer on last Friday afternoon, Canada vs Team GB – who to support? The loyalities have been split, Jo has supported team GB, but wanting Canada to do well, whereas Doug has supported Canada, and hoping that team GB do well (so long as there’s no Canadian competing against them),  and then Millie and Sophie have supported team Canada, and don’t really seem to care too much about Team GB. the one common thought is ‘it’s good to beat the US’, but maybe that’s the Canadian coming through!

Is this support right or wrong? I’ve thought back to when we were in the UK, and all the comments about if you live in the UK you should support the UK, so I guess that if we live in Canada we should support Canada – right? But then I think it also goes a bit deeper, if we are living in Canada we need to respect the laws, and the Canadian values and integrate ourselves into Canadian society, rather than thinking that the UK way is always right and better than anywhere else.

I think, on the whole, we have adopted to a Canadian way of life. But then maybe it is relatively easy coming from the UK. However Quebec is different to the rest of Canada, and hence it is also right that we do understand the importance of the french language, and all that brings with it. It may not be easy but we need to embrace the french language as much as we possibly can. Millie and Sophie have the advantage here and are now thriving in a french school, and could be considered bi-lingual. It is somewhat harder for my older brain to learn and process the french language.  So it may sound strange but we feel part of Canada, but still have some way to go to really feeling part of Quebec, but that is just down to the confidence of speaking french in the areas away from the West Island.

One aspect of life in Quebec which we have embraced is the love of life, and of sport and being active. The girls swim, play soccer and ringuette (can’t get more Canadian than ringuette), Jo kick boxes, whilst Doug tries to go orienteering when his knee allows it, and swims, cycles, canoes  and plays hockey.  The weather and climate seems to allow a more outdoor life in both summer and winter. Yes, when it is -10 and sunny, I just can’t wait to get outside to ski or enjoy the experience of being outdoors. Maybe this helps to explain why we see athletes from Quebec winning a good share of the medals for team Canada.

I guess there is also an issue of time, and the longer we live in Canada, the stronger our ties will be with Canada and weaker with the UK. For Millie and Sophie this is definately true, as most of their strongest memories now come from Canadian experiences.

We’re all convinced that staying in Canada is the right decision, so my final conclusion is “Go Canada Go!” and we wish Team GB well, so long as you don’t beat the Canadian.

 

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