Around the world, Olympics

Olympic post #2: Likeability

Man, this Shaun White guy really IS an animal! According to this article, he made $8 million in endorsements last  year from companies such as Burton, Target, Red Bull, Oakley, Ubisoft and AT&T. What I liked most about him, though, was his complete ease and candor while being interviewed in the studio by newscasters. No stiffness, or scripted answers; just lots of smiles and an easygoing nature!

Then there’s Clara Hughes, the athlete who has won more medals ever after competing in both the Summer (2 medals in cycling) and Winter  (4 medals in speed skating) Olympics (oh yeah; she’s Canadian!). The best word to describe her is classy in my opinion. No obnoxious fist-pumping after she set her record, no screaming, no yelling…just a low-key acknowledgment of her family, friends and fans who came to the race to support her. She’s a woman who seems genuinely proud of her accomplishments, and who holds family close to her heart.

There are many, many other athletes who have really inspired me these Olympics, and a couple have even brought tears to my eyes. I’d love to hear about your favorite likable athlete!

Around the world, Olympics

Olympic post #1: The first 6 days

Well, the Olympics have been going on for 5 days now (yes, there WAS a competition on the day of the opening ceremonies!)  and I must say that I’ve been having a blast  watching them. The opening ceremonies were beautiful; I honestly think my favorite part was kd lang singing “Hallelujah”. I wasn’t able to find the live video, but here is the live audio:

She has been a favorite of mine to listen to for the past number of years, and I don’t think she gets the recognition she deserves.

Now, onto the competition! Thanks to my new laptop, I am able to watch live streaming of events wherever I am. Hockey, snowboard cross, figure skating; all are available at the click of a mouse. I’ve also watched a number of events on television, and I’ve seen some spectacular performances. I think my interests differ from most Canadians, though; to be honest, I have no interest whatsoever in the hockey competition! To me, it’s just an opportunity for various countries (namely Canada and the USA) to show off their athletic prowess using professionals from professional leagues. To me, the Olympics are all about figure skaters like Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue, the Chinese couple who won a gold medal at the ages of 36 and 31, respectively, after leaving the professional circuit to be able to compete. Or Clara Hughes, our flag bearer, who didn’t win a medal in this games but who has competed and won medals in both past Winter and Summer Games. Or Alexandre Bilodeau, who won a gold medal in moguls with his disabled brother Frédéric cheering him on. THOSE are the stories of the Olympics to me, not a bunch of multi-millionaires celebrating 10-0 wins over countries whose hockey teams are made up of guys with regular jobs, just wanting to make their country proud.

However, I’ll certainly enjoy watching whatever sport might be on tv. I’m rooting for all Canadians, and hope that we bring in as many medals as possible. Go Canada!