Tuesday, August 12, 2008
When Canadian Athletes are Heroes
I don't like calling athletes heroes. It demeans the word. But we do have some heroic athletes on the Canadian Olympic team.
Like Kyle Shewfelt whose Olympic dream ended the other night quickly and sadly.
But what an inspiring story. Imagine how brave you have to be to fly through the air and land on both feet....just a year after breaking them. Badly. And how classy you have to be to react like this.
I woke up this morning smiling. I did what I wanted to do. I've done a lot that I'm proud of in my gymnastics career. I came back from two broken legs. How amazing is that?
So tonight I'm pulling for the two guys still left in the competition. Nathan Gafuik who has his own challenges.
Gafuik suffers from a rare condition called Addison's disease, which prohibits the body from producing adrenaline. As a result, he tires easily. He struggles to recover from injuries... Travel is tough, because his energy levels drop. And a minor gash can turn into a major medical emergency.
But has never let that stop him...
And Adam Wong who missed most of last year with a ripped achilles tendon.
But fought his way back to become the reigning Canadian champion.
And then, of course, there is the pool god Alexandre Despatie. Who had to struggle in the last few months to recover from a broken foot...that really screwed up his training.
He's a BIG favourite in this place. We thought he was cute when he was a little kid.
But now we REALLY like him...
And this is a bonus.
"We are here as the Canadian team..... I'm French Canadian but we're all here as the Canadian team. We're representing Canada.
We may be a crazy bunch of Québécois left-wing gay separatist sympathizers and anarchists. But we're also proud Canadians. The bourgeois prig Pauline Marois can go jump in the pool. We're proud of Team Canada.
And we don't care how many medals they bring back either. I know they are all doing their best.
All they have to do is be as dedicated, as brave, and as classy as Kyle, Nathan, Adam and Alexandre.
And that'll be more than good enough...