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November 2019
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The Olympic Barometer

In Trafalgar Square, London in front of Canada House

In Trafalgar Square, London in front of Canada House

Jo commented last night that she’s noticed a transition in her loyalties over the past 5 years. When we first arrived she was 100% behind all things British, but that has changed, to the extent that during the Sochi Olympics her loyalties are now firmly behind Canada. For myself and the girls that transition happened sooner, we were there four years ago with the Olympics in Vancouver.

Even with the London Olympics, whilst there was a desire for team GB to do well, it was more because the Olympics were hosted in London, and we wanted the UK to feel the same spirit that we had when the Olympics in Vancouver. It was actually strange to think that geographically we were almost as close to London as we were to Vancouver, yet the spirit that filled Canada at the time was impressive, with everyone celebrating the success of all Canadian athletes. When we were in the UK over the Christmas holidays, we took time to get photos in front of Canada House, and the photos with the red and white flag of Canada flying in the background are ones that say Yes Canada is now home and we’re grateful for that opportunity.

There’s also been a change in emphasis with the sports that seem important, anything to do with snow and ice are ones we can relate to, far better than we ever could in the UK. There does seem to be a recurring theme for these sports, which is that speed is good, so throw yourself down a steep snow slope, slid at breakneck speed down an icy track, skate harder and faster than anyone else. We’re lucky to have had the opportunity to try a number of these sports, albeit that the closets we’ve come to those crazy sports of luge, skeleton or bobsleigh are limited to fly down a snowy slope on Allen’s Hill. But only yesterday I was cross country skiing, around Beaconsfield Golf course just a kilometre or so from home, Jo spent two years curling before a career ending injury has limited her ability to play. We can head 30mins from home to go downhill skiing, and then there is the Hockey and for the girls, Ringuette.

Hockey goes to the heart of Canada, and is a sport that we’ve come to love. Sophie has her favourite players, Millie less so, I’m playing twice a week, and it is the most hotly discussed topic across Canada. It was great to see the star players at the Olympics, and let’s hope they are there in four years time.

So the Winter Olympics come to an end, and hopefully by the next winter Olympics we will have been able to complete the citizenship process, and be able to say ‘ Nous sommes du Canada!’

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