Sunday, February 28, 2010

Olympic Enemies

The strange thing about watching too much a lot of the Olympics is the transient nature of your enemies. Of course we cheer for Canada. We have flags on our van, one on our house and a lifetime supply of Canadian flag face tattoos.

At the beginning, when the 'own the podium' hype had taken over my good sense, I was routing not only for Canada but against the US and Germany, our main competition to outrank us in overall medals.

Then I watched the men's figure skating, where the Yevgeny Plushenko came out of retirement to try to get another gold medal. I was captivated by the skating of American Evan Lysacek and enthusiastically routed for him and against the Russian and his quadruple jumps.

I could not think of rooting for the US in men's or women's hockey. Not only longtime rivalries, but with strong teams, it was nice to think of an upset smoothing the way to gold medals for the Canadian teams. And so I cheered loudly for Switzerland at the men's quarterfinal. Switzerland is such a sweet, neutral nation, easy to cheer for them.

Until they were playing the Canadian women in the semi-finals of curling the next day, and then they became the mortal enemy.

But I was fine with the Swiss doing well in bobsleigh, or luge where the German's tend to dominate. But I routed for the German pair's figure skating team just so the Chinese wouldn't sweep the podium.

I was generally fine with the Dutch taking the medals they could take, but I got tired of those orange skin suits winning all the time in long track speed skating.

The Koreans and Chinese were easy to hate in short track. They were so dominant. Don't ask me how we got any medals there, but we came out with two gold on the last night to add to a collection of silvers and a bronze.

With but one event left, the men's gold hockey final, I'll be cheering for a 14th gold medal for Canada, a record for any nation in a winter Olympics.

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