I must admit when it comes to the Olympics, I am so, well, Canadian. I love everything winter. And I take no offense when our friends to the south use the main descriptive of 'cold' when asked to describe our country, as without the cold climate we would have missed out on so many warm Olympic stories, some of them happening on our native land.
But it isn't when the athlete waves his/her ski pole in victory, or gives a hug to a team mate after a winning goal, or drops to his/her knees after an almost flawless figure skating performance that heats my heart during the winter Olympics. Instead, it is the story behind the victory, or even the loss.
Who can ever forget the story of the Jamaican Bobsled Team of the Calgary 1988 winter Olympics? Or how about Eddie the Eagle, the first ski jump competitor since 1929 from Great Britain who also competed in those memorable 1988 Olympic Games? Yes, they did not win in their sport, but were the absolute crowd favorite!
A crowd favorite were these athletes because they had stories with the elements needed in all good stories to make it a story. There were dreams, there were obstacles to achieving those dreams, conflicts and adversity, rising action, and unexpected outcomes that left the observers satisfied and cheering! Even Hollywood thought so, with the makings of the movies Cool Runnings (1993) and Eddie The Eagle (2016).
But my favorite Olympic story has not been made into a movie (not yet anyways), however has all of the elements of a good story, and maybe even more. It is the tale of two brothers. A brother who dropped his love of playing hockey for skiing so he could play in a sport that his brother who has cerebral palsy, could play as well, together as a family. A brother whose brother was told he would only walk until 10 years old, but at 28 was still walking. A brother whose big brother with obstacles much larger than his own was his biggest determination to keep him on track with all the training required to be an Olympic athlete.
A brother who believed in him, always, and was the power behind his winning the Olympic Gold for Canada in Men's Freestyle Skiing, in Vancouver, 2010.
And, I'd say, a brother, who after his winning Olympic performance, gave a hug to his brother that warmed up all of cold Canada and beyond.
May you take a moment and watch, letting the warmth of a Canadian story heat your heart.
Alex Bilodeau Wins Gold- I believe in the power of you and I
The Difference Makers