Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sidney Crosby

I almost didn't watch OT. I nearly went for a drive.

It wasn't the shock or awe of the late goal with the goalie pulled. It was that I felt it coming, as I've seen the movie before. In 1996, the USA beat Canada in the World Cup using 6-on-5. It was the only time I've ever seen it work.

The premonition, and then the follow through here in 2010, was a dagger through the heart. I nearly left.

Even now, I'm numb. I can't believe we won. And, as Vic says, it couldn't have been scripted better for Sidney Crosby: relatively quiet all tournament, the lion came out of the cage in the span of about 2 seconds, beating the stout US netminder.


It is now, officially, an unequivocally Great Games for Canada.


ps. Congrats to the US hockey team on a great Olympics, and for taking several years off my life in 2 separate games.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

NBC = Nothing But Curling

CNBC (a cable network) has shown a ton of hockey and curling. As mentioned, I'm just blown away.

Especially tonight, to see Skip Kevin Martin win gold for Canada! Curling is one heckuva game. I always knew that but, having been starved of it for awhile, I've come to rediscover it.

Quote of the night, from Don Duguid: there is a difference between a rock-thrower and a curler.

Factoid of the night: there are only 8 sheets of ice for curling in Norway. 30 people attended their national championships. And yet they have a world-class team! Whaaaaa? Why don't they support the sport?


ps. Canada has really put the burn on in terms of medals. The "Own the Podium" was a bit of a joke at first, but not now. The USA will get the most medals (and hats off to them), but we have done very well.

pps. Now there is just one game left on Sunday afternoon: hockey. As someone from Vancouver put on Twitter, "Canada will be closed from noon to 3 pm PST".

Friday, February 26, 2010


The last couple of days of the Games are going to be deliciously stressful! I'm watching women's curling right now and am pacing the floor a bit.

It's fun to know my family is definitely watching at home.


ps. I watched the ladies figure-skating with a friend last night and really enjoyed it. I'm so glad Joannie R got a medal, and Kim Yu-Na's gold medal performance was unbelievable.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bang Your Drum

In the opening ceremonies, Bryan Adams and Nelly Furtado sang "Bang Your Drum".

Indeed. We just beat Russia 7-3.

A long way to go, but tonight: we are pleased.


Edit: As Colleen pointed out, it was a huge night all-around. Canada won medals in the women's bobsleigh, including Heather Moyse from PEI! (I didn't see that until after posting.)

(This undoubtedly tremendous, though I maintain the hockey is big. To paraphrase someone on the Russian team, "Back home, this is a disaster. The end of the world.")

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Olympics

I just saw Ashleigh McIvor win gold in women's ski cross. I saw the result online earlier today, but I was still shouting here tonight, and delighted for her.

This whole "Own the Podium" initiative has been very difficult on our athletes. It was intended as an ambitious goal (in part to sanction gov't funding), but I think that the additional pressure on individuals has been tough.

That said, it is hard to swallow the results of men's speed-skating, alpine skiing of any type, and of course (ahem) the men's hockey team (which can only be
mentioned now that they have throttled Germany).

Anyway, I salute McIvor and of course Virtue and Moir of ice-dancing fame! Last night, NBC stayed with the ice-dancing medal presentation and the national anthem. It was terrific. I am beginning to love NBC and its cable channels.


ps. Canada-USA set a new mark for TV ratings in Canada, but my guess is that Canada-Russia tomorrow night will be one for the ages in terms of ratings.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Over the course of the Olympics I've discovered that NBC cable channels is also carrying the Games. They are heavy into hockey and curling. This is great news!

Just as with figure skating, curling has thrown me back into another era. It is a great game. Interestingly, the colour commentators for NBC are well-known Canadians: the legends Colleen Jones and Don Duguid.


ps. A Canadian woman coaches Denmark, and a German curler grew up in Canada. We are all over this game.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I was thinking of writing a longer piece but I don't really have time. My apologies: this is choppy.

Readers will know that hockey and curling are very popular in Canada, but so too is figure skating.

My mother and sister are big fans. I'm a bit at a loss here when I watch, because they know all the skaters and all the backstories. They went to the Worlds in Halifax a couple of years ago and loved it.

I watched the skating (pairs, long program) with a friend the other night and was reminded of the great skaters of the past (e.g. Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko) and watching with my family. I have cousins in Hamilton who were also major skate fans, and rabid fans of Elvis. (Alas, one cousin is no longer with us.)

Between them all, I was thrown back to 1990-1991 when I was last really "into" the skate scene, even if through osmosis. It was surprisingly emotional: I remembered having certain fears and hopes that are with me to this day, and I wondered how I could "lose" figure skating for so long. (That last one is easy: there isn't as much coverage here, and over the years, it is only natural that I pursued my own interests).

As I write this though, I'd like to watch it with my family. I've joked that I have to call home and find out the real story behind what I just saw.


ps. Canada has 2 gold medals!

pps. NBC showed a whole profile on Alexandre Bilodeau and the presentation of his medal. I was delighted.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Double Header

Though under the radar on this blog, I returned to the JCC for my annual "combo indoor triathlon" this weekend. It had all of the grace of a late Elvis concert: sweaty and labourious. But we made it!

I finished mid-pack within my age group in the long event (Sat) and the short event (Sun). My run times (the best metric) were much slower than years past but hopefully I'll get back into shape this winter/spring.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gold Gold Gold

I just saw Alexandre Bilodeau win gold for Canada in the freestyle event.

The neighbours probably heard some shouting. WooHOO!

I'm grateful that the NBC Iron Curtain of Commercialism allowed me to enjoy the event. They are interviewing him now (alas, we won't see the medal presentation or the anthem).

This is so fantastic. Especially we beat that traitorous Aussie.

This will eventually seem very trite, but his name is trending on the worldwide feed for Twitter. i.e. Alexandre's name is among the top ten topics world-wide. No doubt every Canadian with access is singing his praises.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Though we all have a heavy heart over the crash and death of luger Nodar Kumitashvili, I'm looking forward to the opening games of the Vancouver Olympics. They are just about to begin.

From what I can tell, Vancouver won't even try to compete with Beijing, which is wise because that was incomparable. NBC just reported that the ceremonies will be much more intimate, and should make Canadians swell with pride.

There is rampant speculation on who will light the Olympic torch for Canada. Of the rumors, I think it will either be David Suzuki, or possibly an image of the late Terry Fox. Both are sentimental favourites for different reasons: Suzuki is a beloved biologist with strong ties to BC; Terry Fox is a national hero and certainly a better fit for an athletic competition.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Google Streetview

Google Streetview has hit Charlottetown!

Type "Charlottetown PEI" into Google maps, zoom in a bit, and then drag the yellow dude (see attached screenshot) onto the blue streets.

This is very cool for Islanders and other readers alike...

ps. This is a MAJOR post-script: it is more than just Charlottetown. It may be the entire Island. Not sure yet.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


The local news is that I picked the Colts over the Saints, who just won the Superbowl. The Saints QB won battles against Kurt Warner, Brett Favre, and Peyton Manning in the run to the championship. That is an unbelievable list of opponents.

The bigger news is that the PEI ladies curling team played in the national finals this afternoon: the Scott Tournament of Hearts. They played against the reigning champs, known as Team Canada. Prior to a Superbowl party, I was watching the game online via a score update and a webcam stream. Team PEI lost a lead going into the last end, and I was stunned to read (at the party, on my phone) that they had lost a heart-breaker in extra ends. Don't laugh: this was a huge deal for The Island. Though not as popular as hockey or the winter Olympics, curling is very popular and The Island rarely makes it to the finals.

Ah well. Maybe next year, on all fronts.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Happy Birthday

A Happy Birthday shout-out to my sister, C!

My sister has always been a better multi-tasker, and more eclectic, than me. She has lived and worked in the UK, played the flute in high school, completed boot camp in the armed forces, passed the bar exam, and now manages a bookstore, reading everything in sight. (Her book recommendations are consistently superlative).

She stresses as I do over doing something correctly, but doesn't carpet-bomb her social life as I did in university, and on occasion now when preparing a talk.

I consider myself very lucky to have her as a sister. As documented here, her wedding was the only time I have nailed a speech and I'm glad, for it was the most important time for me to do so. I'm tempted to recite it here, but that feels like betraying the moment.

Happy Birthday, sis!