With hockey obviously in its offseason (and as we eagerly wait to see if there will be a season at all), the 2012 Summer Games in London, England are nearing their peak. With so much going on in these final few days of the Olympics, Visa has offered me some prizing that I can give to you guys! I’ll explain how at the end of the blog. For now, I want to give my opinion on something that is quickly becoming the biggest topic of discussion for Canada at these games: Who is going to be Canada’s flag-bearer?
The last Olympian to carry the flag for Canada at the closing ceremony of an Olympics was figure skater Joannie Rochette, and rightfully so. While she didn’t win gold, Rochette’s bronze medal was a massive victory in itself. While still mourning the sudden death of her mother, Therese, Joannie performed her routines magnificently. Rochette’s athletic accomplishments were impressive, but what truly made her the right choice as Canada’s flag-bearer was that she captured Canada’s heart.
Outside of the men’s ice hockey team, not many athletes were recognized as household names. As somebody who spent the entire 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, I can honestly say that almost everyone I spoke to knew of Rochette’s story. Her bravery and determination was one of the greatest stories of those Olympics, and she was absolutely the perfect pick to be Canada’s flag-bearer.
Now in 2012, who is the one Canadian athlete everyone talks about? Easy: Christine Sinclair.
Leading all women’s soccer players with six goals in the tournament, including all three goals in a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the States, there were times where Sinclair looked like a one-woman show. Her efforts, and the entire team’s efforts, culminated today with a 1-0 Canadian victory in the Bronze medal game against France. If you needed any indication for how big of a deal this is for Canadian soccer, it’s Canada’s first medal in a traditional summer sport of any kind since Canada picked up silver in basketball in Berlin in 1936. While gold is always better than silver or bronze, the significance of this accomplishment can’t be denied.
Some might argue that after Sinclair criticized the officiating in Canada’s game with the USA, she should not be the one representing Canada. That might be a bit hypocritical, seeing as the vast majority of Canadians who saw that game, along with many soccer fans from other countries, echoed Sinclair’s frustration. Tempers flair. She plays the game with fire, and sometimes that carries over to the microphone.
Comments aside, if Christine Sinclair wasn’t a big name in Canadian sports before these Olympics, she certainly is now. No, she isn’t Michael Phelps. No, she isn’t Usian Bolt. What she is however, is a woman who earned the attention and respect of Canadians like no other Canadian athlete at these game. She’s the right choice.
PRIZES! Right. Almost forgot.
Leave a comment on this blog, and not just some comment that says “HI STEVE!” Make a legitimate comment on this blog. I will take all of those comments and put them into a randomizer. The person the randomizer picks will win a $50 pre-paid VISA card. Available to Canadian residents only. Want it? Leave a comment. If you don’t see your comment right away, don’t panic. They all need to be approved before posting.
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