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Pride

I have been in many countries around the world and in every one of them, I wore a bag that had a Canadian flag on my backpack. Each new place I would visit would make me more proud than the last to be a Canadian.

It wasn't that there was anything wrong with the places or the people I was visiting, just that you realise you are who you are because of where you're from and it makes you feel even stronger about where you're from.

I don't know if it's because I'm here in the city of the Olympics or because age and travel have made me realise even more how great this country is or even if it is the nostalgia that comes with remembering the young girl who used to pump her fists at the end of a lap 'pracitcing' winning a gold medal or if in fact, it is all these reasons, but I have never felt prouder to be Canadian.

There is a sea of red everywhere you turn. Gloves. Hats. T-shirts. Sweatshirts. Painted chests. You name it. All red.

There are outburst of 'Go Canada Go' and impromptu singing of the national anthem. There are people of all ages cheering in the streets, high fiving each other, fist pumping and whooping it up.

And apologizing. Lots and lots of bumping into each other. Lots of "Oh I'm sorry". Lots and lots.

There is massive support. Not just for the Canadian events.You can see on the TV that all of the stands at all the events are usually full, whether its Finland against Norway or Canada versus the U.S.

We have always been a people who are very proud but we do it in a non-confrontational-i'm-sorry sort of way. It's when you hear other new organisations around the world praising the games, the organizers, the fans, the athletes that you really feel your heart bursting with pride.

I am proud of all our successes. The Own the Podium program seems to have shifted the way we think about the Olympics. It's no longer 'we tried our best' it's 'we're here to win'.

But what I'm most proud of is how we are hosting the world. It's cliche and sounds completely overdone but in plain in simple terms that's what we're doing. We are showing the world what Canada is all about. It's not just 'eh' and moose, Mounties and the McKenzie brothers.

It is atheletes with exceptional composure, ability and class. It is people who will cheer for the underdog, point a lost person in the right direction or even simply share a smile across a crowded sky train.


There are only 4 days left of these amazing games. I've been so lucky to share this with a few special people.

Perhaps that's what has made it so special and go by so quickly. I'm looking forward to heading back into the city streets one more time this weekend to soak up the atmosphere. I will be sad when it's over but realise how special it has been that I was part of this extraordinary world event.

My Olympic lesson? No matter how far I go or what country I live in, I will always be Canadian and always be proud to be one. Always.

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