The best and proud of it


by admin on March 3, 2010

Some of my fellow Canadians in the media make me sick.

They seem determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Sunday is perhaps the greatest hockey game since Canada beat The Soviet Union in 1972 with Paul Henderson’s last-second goal. Canada swept all before it, winning 14 gold medals and setting a new Olympic record for first place finishes.

A new record for gold first place finishes. And how did this nation, particularly its media treat this epic event.

“Why, we didn’t come first in total medal count. We only came third!” was the lament heard round the water coolers, mimicking laments on press, radio and TV the morning after the gold game.

How Canadian! The Nice Guy Nation is doing it again. Hiding its light under a bushel barrel. “Forget we beat you again and again. Don’t be hurt or offended. We didn’t mean to embarrass you. Please forgive us. Can’t we all be friends?” That’s what our usual reaction to victory has been. It’s time to bury this false modesty and do what huge crowds across the country did the last two weeks. Show how proud we are to be Canadians and just how good we can be when we put our minds and money into it.

And we didn’t come third. Where it counts we were first, and first historically. For years when Olympic results were tabulated and the gold medal champion was feted, the general rule of thumb to decide who came first overall in total medals was through a point rating system: Five points for first; three points for a silver second place finish and a measly one point for dragging up the rear medal-wise in bronze.

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scoring the Canadians came a close second to the US (you do the math) on points, but that was only on a point count basis. Winning gold. Coming First. That’s what counted. Not how many second place or third place finishes were recorded. That was mere bookkeeping.

Over the years, when Canada was a powder puff competitor, point count was the last refuge of patriotic scoundrels. “We got seven bronzes, one silver and no gold. Yippee!” was the usual loser refrain.

And when we became top dog, King of the Gold Hill, what do we hear pulsating across this suddenly super proud, super patriotic nation?

Why that old Canadian refrain: “No we’re not. We’re second best and don’t you forget it.”

From now on, let’s do exactly that. Forget it. This week, this month and for the next four years: We’re golden and we’re number one!”

And don’t you forget it!