The gold, silver, and bronze age

Holy frickmas.

DUDES.

IT’S THE OLYMPICS!!!

And hot damn do I ever love the Olympics.

Because hot damn do I ever love sport.

I don’t love corporations, or globalization, or nationalism, or any of the other buzzwords that Olympic detractors love to trot out at two and four-year intervals. I don’t love Coke, and I don’t love idiotic, phallic mascots (although my cat sure does love her Quatchi), and I don’t love doping scandals, or unsportsmanlike conduct – issues that are sure to plague these games as they do every other international amateur athletic event.

I don’t love any of these things.

I just love sport.

And I respect and admire these phenomenal athletes who have sacrificed so much – more than I’ll ever know or understand – to push their bodies to the physical limit in an attempt to (pretty much) attain the impossible.

And I cannot for the life of me understand how people can want to take away from this – take away from those who have trained their entire lives for a chance to perform in the world’s spotlight, for that all too brief moment when the collective mass of coagulated humanity turns away from whatever opiate that is currently keeping them apathetic, and docile, uninterested and disengaged – and watches.

If but for a moment, becomes re-engaged.

Ignore all the superfluous, gratuitous, pornographic background noise that is produced from the monolithic and terrifying Olympic machine; ignore the masturbatory circus that is the IOC.

Ignore everything but the events and the players.

At least I will.

I do.

Because when you do, it is magic.

Here are three memories (in no particular order) I have of watching this magic.  They are events that helped shape me not only as an athlete, but as an individual.

1.)    Donovan Bailey’s gold medal 100m final – Atlanta Olympics, June 24, 1996.

Location: The basement of my family’s house, Vancouver, wearing my older sister`s stretched and faded Los Angeles 1984 t-shirt, sun burnt, exhilarated, awe-struck, inspired.  To this day whenever I see 9.84 I think of that moment.

2.)    Myriam Bedard’s double gold, biathlon – Lillehamer Olympics, 1994

Location: The TV room of my family’s house (different from the previous post), Vancouver.  I remember the how tight my chest was, as if my pride has someone squeezed all the air from my lungs.  I was so happy for not only my fellow country woman, but for all Canadian women.  I cried when my mother told me Myriam had been selected to carry the flag at the closing ceremonies.  (It’s very unfortunate that her horrible actions post-games have come to define her memory for many.)

3.)    Matthias Steiner’s gold in the 105+ kg weightlifting – Beijing Olympics, 2008

Location: My tiny 600sq foot home as a newlywed, Vancouver.  Completely sleep deprived due to staying up all night to watch live feeds on cbc.ca  I wept when Matthias won, having learned that his wife – a German woman from Saxony – had died in a car accident just months before his Olympic triumph.  He receives his medal holding a picture of her as tears stream down his face.

What about you cats? What are you excited for?

Oh, and as a postscript (and counterargument to this entire post), take a look at The Hater’s Guide to the London Olympics. As someone who has lived in the UK, and who LOVES the Olympics, it is bloody funny as HECK.

On wednesdays, we wear pink

Yo, yo, yo beauty cats!

Today, I am PUMPED UP.

I am buzzing with inspiration, and love, and just general bonkerness.

This morning I, along my very glamorous, and gem of a genius colleague J, went to a leadership panel at the Vancity Theatre, where we heard six different talks from a brilliant buffet of speakers: they were athletes, intellectuals, doctors, storytellers, and demographers.

Seriously, these individuals were fascinating as they were diverse: ranging from Trevor Linden, ex-Canuck extraordinaire, to Dr. Samantha Nutt, the founder and executive director of WarChild Canada and US.

Hey! It's that Clearly Contacts guy!

What a collection of neat people.

Phew.

I know I often write about the inordinate number of injustices I perceive, (or hear about, or read about) – on a daily basis at that, and I know I am wont to chronicle about how this overwhelming tide of negativity can be pretty difficult to fight against, (particularly day in and day out)– but just sitting there, and listening to all of the speakers, allowing their passion, and humour, and dedication, and eloquence to just wash over me – heck, it really made me think that we just might make it out of this out-of-control space-ship-cum-wrecking-ball of a planet alive.

And kicking!

(Well. Maybe.)

It all may depend on the subject of Al Gore’s next documentary.

(I kid, I kid.)

And if we don’t survive?

And we are all exploded into millions of tiny particles of space dust because no one bothers to recycle their toasters, or throw out their bubble tea cups, and instead just stashes their Subway wrappers in university pruned bushes and other miscellaneous vegetation?

Well, I plan on looking darn stylish in the process of said annihilation.

And, why is that exactly might you ask?

Because, ladies and gentlemen…I did it!

May I present to you, my two favourite clothing purchases of 2012:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

Hot damn.

The excitement around these parts (aka coursing around the length of my body) is palpable.

PALPABLE!

I cannot begin to explain to you all how excited I am to wear both of these pieces. Maybe not together (at least not to the office), but all day, and every day, I will don this as my warrior dress, as I kick ass and chew bubble gum.

And folks, I’m all out of bubble gum.

Okay, in all seriousness, I have really been trying to make conscious choices when it comes to my fashion purchases. This works rather well with the fact that I have a very hard time breaking away from the “student” mindset when it comes to buying, well, anything really.

I want to make sure that whatever it is I am purchasing, it will be something that I will wear and get good use of, as well as being as ethically responsible as possible.

It can be a hard balancing act, and I am by no means perfect, but I am working on it.

At the root of it all, I just want to understand where my clothing is coming from, who is profiting off my purchase, how well the product will benefit myself as a consumer, and (of course) first and foremost: ask myself – do I actually need it in my life?

Now, I could argue that I don’t actually need 99% of the stuff that I buy – I become more and more aware of this issue every time I walk by a store, or through a shopping mall.

But I hope that, at the very least, by just asking these questions, I am making some sort of impact, or progress – that it is the catalyst for a slow building, slow moving change, even if just in my life.

A change of one.

And if it can grow from there? Well then, that’s just perfect.

As two quick post-scripts, let me share with you two of my biggest laughs (or gaffs?) of the day:

I was an overzealous coffee pourer at the speaker’s panel. Can you tell I was a tad tired this morning?

Java moat.

And, prices advertised by Flight Centre:

Good marketing there folks. Fine print is pretty crap though.

WOW, this flight is only $29.00?! But taxes are $600.00?

Well shit.

Looks like I’m riding my bike to Europe.