- First, perhaps the snarkiest line of the week was at today's ew.com review of the closing ceremony: "Simple Plan and Hedley, really? Where’s Celine? Arcade Fire? Metric? Stars? Where is Rush? Be cool or be cast out, Canada…" Simple Plan is great, but no Arcade Fire (yet another way to piss off Quebec) and no Rush? No Rush? If the US can throw up a geriatric British band for the Super Bowl, surely the Canadians bring out their old supergroup. But no, eh?
- Second, there are stories now about whether this is the event that changes how Canada thinks of itself, referring to the games and to their gold medal haul. Will this cement Canadian identity as more assertive, more confident, etc? Um, no. The games are less than 24 hours in the past. Let's give it some time. Perhaps Canada is feeling a bit more secure in embracing nationalism. And a benign nationalism, as my wife reminded me this morning. I just hope that Vancouver does not have nearly as much debt to service as Montreal did.
- Third, the Canadian "Own the Podium" effort did pay off in a very non-Canadian way--getting heaps of gold but not much else. Usually 2nd or 3rd is just fine.
- Fourth, we do have a bit of medal inflation. It is striking that the US did the best on the total count and that Canada did best on the gold count, but any comparison to the past records of medal hauls is probably deceptive since there are more events than there once was. All of the snowboard events, all of the X-games type events (skicross, aerials, moguls), the short-track events are all relatively new, so there are simply more medals being handed out. I am sure that in previous games, other countries dominated the medals as much or more than the US/Canada did this time. Not that there is anything wrong with the pride one has over one's country's achievements in these games. Makes more sense to root for these batch of laundry (uniforms) than the usual ones (more local sports teams).
- Finally, it was nice to see Canada display one of its most engaging attributes in the closing ceremonies--its sense of humor. One of Canada's best export industries is comedy, so it was nice to hear that they made fun of themselves. Let others be pompous while the Canadians make us giggle.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Last Olympic Thoughts
Yes, I blew off the closing ceremonies to watch Zombieland on DVD. And it is as fun the second time as the first. But that does not stop me from a few last thoughts about these games and its host.