AUGUST 29, 2016
The Olympics made me feel unCanadian

The Olympics has been over for a couple of weeks now. The athletes are settling back into their everyday life, though some got a hero’s welcome when they arrived home. But do these people who often train and compete all year round get enough recognition? I mean, many aren’t even household names but yet they’re the best in the world at what they do.

I started feeling bad about not being able to name even five athletes that competed in Rio. Naturally I started comparing Olympians to other famous people and seeing if I am tuned out when it comes to the Games or just in general.

Turns out a few of my colleagues were able to name at least 20 NHL players but only one or two current  Olympic athletes – and I say current because two people named athletes from previously Olympic competitions.

Do Canadians care more about hockey than Olympians? Or is it simply the amount of screen time each gets that gives them a recognizable name?

An Olympian is considered the best in the world though an NHL player just has to be good to be known. The hockey player’s career is followed for much of the year and not only two weeks during the Olympics. Keep in mind that most Olympians train and compete in their respective events all year round but the coverage isn’t on as large a scale as hockey which is strange.

Is it justifiable for us to say, “I don’t know anything about Olympians because I never see them on TV”? Seems like a lame excuse.

Where am I going with all this? I feel bad for not caring enough about Team Canada every day they are competing leading up to competition on the world stage. What am I going to do about it? I am going to spend more time following the careers and accomplishments of these people who represent our country.

Perhaps we could all take a few minutes to scroll through their Facebook or Twitter pages and read about their training or upcoming competitions. Rather than wasting time playing games with strangers online perhaps we could show a little more interest in the people who are the best at something significant in this country. Instead, we idolize people on reality shows who help us waste time (though admittedly I often do feel better about myself when watching those train wrecks).

Since I didn’t say it in this column during the Olympics: Go Canada Go!
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