By Elliott Almond
Sunday, February 14th, 2010 at 5:08 pm in Uncategorized.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Canadians gave us a reminder of what’s important Saturday night at the Pacific Coliseum.
During the men’s B final of the 1,500 meters short-track speedskating race, the man in red, Charles Hamelin of Quebec, burst into the lead. And with the sudden move came a roar that echoed throughout the arena. Louder and louder it got as Hamelin circled the icy track ahead of the pack. And when he crossed the line in first flags waved, everyone clapped. Hamelin might have finished only seventh in the Olympic event, but it will be a moment he’ll always cherish.
It wasn’t about medals. It was about performance and Canadian pride.
Unlike Athens and Turin, Italy, where crowds at many events were thin, the Vancouver Games have been filled with people. People dressed in red and white with a big CANADA written on the jerseys, ski caps, shirts and, well, everywhere.
The fans have supported all the athletes just as we expected polite Canadians to do. But the way they showed their appreciation of Hamelin’s race Saturday underscores that this is a country that knows how to exhibit the Olympic spirit.
And that’s something to celebrate, eh?