Podium: Owned.

In the interval between the end of competition and the beginning of the Closing Ceremonies, a roll call:

Jennifer Heil, Women’s Freestyle Skiing — Moguls: Silver.

Kristina Groves, Women’s Long-Track Speed Skating — 3000m: Bronze. 1500m: Silver.

Alexandre Bilodeau (with honourable mention of his brother Frederick), Men’s Freestyle Skiing — Moguls: Gold.

Mike Robertson, Men’s Snowboard Cross: Silver.

Maelle Ricker, Women’s Snowboard Cross: Gold.

Marianne St-Gelais, Women’s Short-Track Speed Skating — 500m: Silver.

Christine Nesbitt, Women’s Long-Track Speed Skating — 1000m: Gold.

Jon Montgomery, Men’s Skeleton: Gold.

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, Figure Skating — Ice Dance: Gold.

Ashleigh McIvor, Women’s Ski Cross: Gold.

Clara Hughes, Women’s Long-Track Speed Skating — 1500m: Bronze. Becoming the only Olympic athlete ever to earn multiple medals in the Winter and Summer Games: Gold.

Jessica Gregg, Kalyna Roberge, Marianne St-Gelais and Tania Vicent, Women’s Short-Track Speed Skating — 3000m Relay: Silver.

Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyes, Women’s Two-‘Man’ Bobsleigh: Gold

Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown, Women’s Two-‘Man’ Bobsleigh: Silver

Team Canada, Women’s Hockey: Gold.

Joannie Rochette, Women’s Figure Skating — Single: Bronze. Heart: Gold.

Cheryl Bernard and rink, Women’s Curling: Silver.

Francois-Louis Tremblay, Men’s Short-Track Speed Skating — 500m: Bronze.

Charles Hamelin, Men’s Short-Track Speed Skating — 500m: Gold.

Charles Hamelin, Francois Hamelin, Jean Olivier and Francois-Louis Tremblay, Men’s Short-Track Speed Skating — 5000m Relay: Gold.

Mathieu Giroux, Lucas Makowsky and Denny Morrison, Men’s Long-Track Speed Skating, Team Pursuit: Gold.

Jasey-Jay Anderson, Men’s Snowboarding — Parallel Giant Slalom: Gold. 

Lyndon Rush, Chris Le Bihan, David Bissett and Lascelles Brown, Men’s Four-Man Bobsleigh: Bronze.

Kevin Martin and rink, Men’s Curling: Gold.

Team Canada, Men’s Hockey: Gold.

Oh, Canada.

That. Was. Freaking. Incredible.

In reference to the ice dancing gold medal won by Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir tonight: I would just like it recorded that I was there. Well, watching on TV, anyway.

Close enough.

And it was… a gold medal performance. Grace, trust and unity absolute. Only the second Canadian gold medal performance, as it happens, that I have ever watched start-to-finish — the first being the men’s hockey team victory in Salt Lake 2002. Were I not to have been there, I would be required to hand in my citizenship.


It has been a very Canadian Olympics, thus far. That is, time spent fretting over failures — athletes and organizers alike — has outstripped rejoicing over victories by, oh, three-to-one or so. Today, officials formally conceded that the brash ‘Own the Podium’ program would, ahem, not be clocking us thirty-odd medals after all. Sorry about that. You think we were maybe a bit arrogant, about the whole thing? Yeah, maybe we were… but hey, we’re still doing good, right? Right?…

…and so on. It does not help that the breakout success story of these games is the USA. Watching a string of poised, confident, medal-wearing Americans shake their heads and smile indulgently at us is the most peculiarly Canadian of experiences: pleased and proud to be noticed, while at the same time writhing in agony over the need.

Thing is, I’m not sure if Owning the Podium in reality wouldn’t mean sacrificing too much of what makes us… well, us. Whether we are not better off as we are, so desperate to do the right thing, so accustomed to being overlooked that we are still wide-eyed at the very idea of hosting the world. But now that they’re here — hey, the beer’s cold and the party’s hot. And when the medals do come (which they have, after all) it is, very literally, the best feeling in the world.

It is because of our ultimate refusal to beat our chests that we are enjoying this Olympiad to the full in our own way; down on the streets of Vancouver, the bars of Whistler, and community centres across the nation. Let the media carp about technical issues and sniff at delays — yes, yes, we broke the cauldron, it rained the first couple days, and the chain-link fence around the outdoor flame was a stunning failure of imagination.

Meanwhile, the real Olympic spirit is quietly sliding under their radar… wearing a red-and-white scarf.

When I think it could be so much nicer/being red, or yellow… or gold…

Le sigh. Yes, I’m still alive. More or less. I woke up with a temperature this morning and have spent the rest of the day watching my plans for an active outdoorsy weekend just sort of ooze slowly down the tubes.

The TV tubes, that is. Starting with the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics opening ceremonies last night. OK, I know, Witnesses reject nationalism and all; especially the cheezy, show-the-heartstrings-no-mercy kind that defines the televised Olympiad. Official excuse: I work for the company that designed the Canadian team’s parade outfits, which I had gotten a preview of earlier in the day.

Unofficial excuse: How could any snarker worth their mirth be expected to avoid the magnet that is Canadian televised solemnity?

Sentimental journeyings under the cut…

I’m bored.

Truly madly deeply bored. The kind of boredom wherein you spend most of your time, with things you’re interested in, wondering how on Earth you could ever have been interested in them. And frankly I do not see the situation improving any time soon.

This is bad. This is very bad, not least because this particular level of boredom is one in which I have a tendency to snack, randomly but quite steadily, just for the excitement value. Which is ably assisted by the futility value. "C’mon," I coax myself, in this mood, "not much going on anyway, who’d even notice if you had that extra Twinkie?"

This is exactly what got me into the situation where I had to spend most of last summer losing the twenty-five pounds I’d put on that winter. And I am not going to be one of these yo-yos who just put the weight right back on again. I am not.

But, honestly, I can’t think of much else to do at the moment. Besides maybe work up a rage against ex-Green Bay, now whoever’ll-give-him-the-time-of-day QB Brett Favre for what the hell do you think you’re doing, boy, leading the Minnesota Vikings into the town where there’s still a Brett Favre Steakhouse? Sheez.

…OK, that was kind of fun. But doing it properly would mean going back onto the ESPN boards at gametime, and nahhhh. You want boredom, spend time watching grown men try and come up with new ways to call each other homosexual. Hint: they don’t often succeed.

In other news, I have been paging through the back numbers of I Can Haz Cheezburger lately. Thus discovering that there’s a low boredom threshold on cute (excuse me, ‘kyoot’), too. But I keep on keepin’ on, because this is about the only bookmark I haven’t reread six times. Even my dead-tree reading is a recap of the Elizabeth I-Mary Queen of Scots rivalry (the admittedly excellent Elizabeth and Mary by Jane Dunn), and not that we haven’t covered that material at Shoe Central more than, oh, eighteen times now.

Clearly, drastic measures are required here.

Uh… anybody got any they can spare?