Monday, January 07, 2008

off to a good start

I celebrated the new year with Jeremy, Kim & Steve after a fun night of board games and strawberry daiquiris. For the first time since my friends and I discovered drinking, I woke up New Year's Day without a hangover or even a headache. The day progressed from there with us being extraordinarily lazy (one of us put their pj's back on 5 minutes after getting in the door - I'll let you guess who) and pretty much doing nothing other than watch TV reruns and playing computer games.

While things certainly aren't perfect - we haven't won the lottery and erased our debts, then bought houses in Hawaii, the Muskokas or the south of France - 2008 is definitely off to a great start...

There's lobster in my freezer.

Jeremy put together our BBQ so we finally got to enjoy the steak dinners I've been missing for a year and a half now. (and have had 4 dinners in the last week from the grill)

We've got gift cards from all sorts of fun places (La Senza, The Bay (to get a duvet cover courtesy of my mother-in-law to be), Tim Horton's, The Keg, and M&M Meats), which means shopping for house stuff and food, two of my favourite things to shop for!

I found out the school board here in London will be hiring for supply teachers soon.

There's a fantastic new reality TV show about Miss America on TLC that's hosted by one of my favourite characters from Ugly Betty. AND Clinton & Stacey from "What Not to Wear" are going to be on it telling the pageant hopefuls how to dress! The show looks to be 'so bad it's good', with the girls all living together in one house and being coached on how to be more modern and relatable to the American public. One look at some of these ladies and you can already tell they're going to have a hard time putting down the mascara brushes and hairspray.

But the best thing that's happened so far this year is:

Even if you're not a hockey fan, this is more than worth your time (highlights of the game and the celebration at the end for you non-hockey watchers) - even if it's just to watch them sing our national anthem at the end. Pierre McGuire gets cut off at the end of the video, when he says "I don't care how many times you see and hear that - it never gets old."

So yet again, we've won the gold medal at the World Juniors. This year was very different for Team Canada - a lot of adversity, drama, goalie issues, and an increasingly strong group of opposing teams. The boys who represented our country were part of one of the youngest teams to ever attend this tournament, and only had 2 returning players. The only team to beat us in 4 YEARS (in round robin or elimination rounds) was Team Sweden during the round robin, so when the final game started, we all knew that it wasn't going to be an easy win. And many people doubted that this inexperienced team could pull it off.

But just like every other year, they came out for the gold medal and would settle for nothing less.

I'd like to say that it was a pretty goal that won the gold medal, but I'd be lying. That winning shot was a lot like the rest of this tournament - a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck. Add the passion for the sport and the desire to make a country proud, and you've got this year's Team Canada.

If you watched the video, you might have noticed the sea of red in the stands. Consider for a minute that the tournament was held in the Czech Republic, and the fact that over 4,000 of the people in the crowd of 7,500 were Canadians - it was pretty damn amazing. The victory celebration took twice as long because the team actually went up into the stands (first time I've ever seen a team do that) to let their fellow Canadians touch the cup and share the celebration. They credited the faithful Canucks who were there for every game, cheering loudly and making sure everybody knew they were there with helping to win the gold medal this year. After Sweden scored their first goal, the cameras panned the crowd, which showed a huge group of dejected Canadians and three Swedish fans (in yellow and blue) jumping up and down and cheering. It didn't take long for the racket of "Go Canada Go!" to start up again - which I'm sure gave our boys the extra jump in their step that was badly needed when overtime began. That group of 4,000 represented thousands more back home, yelling at their TVs and cheering with strangers in bars whenever things went right.

And those thousands of us who saw an ugly goal hit the back of the net in overtime cheered all together from places all over the world. I wonder how many others got a little teary-eyed when they raised our flag yet again...

And so ends my favourite holiday tradition with the singing of O Canada along with a bunch of teenagers who in two short weeks become national heroes. Some will never go further than junior level hockey, while others will be drafted into the NHL, and a small group of players will become team captains, all-star players, and heroes to more than their countrymen. In a few years names like Tavares, Stamkos, Mason, Turris, and Marchand will be listed in professional rosters and little kids will want to grow up to be just like them.

And just like now, when I hear "Sydney Crosby scores the game winner!" or "Dion Phaneuf is a force to be reckoned with!", I'll smile and remember the year they proudly stood on the blue line with their team-mates with gold medals around their necks.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee


  • At 12:27 PM, Blogger Suldog said…

    There's nothing quite so good as cheering for your home team, especially when it's your national team. Congratulations!


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