As I am writing this, Canada’s women’s football/soccer team is about to defeat Great Britain and find itself in an Olympic semi-final against the dreaded USA. Now, I am rooting for Canada generally in these Olympics for obvious reasons, but also because the UK is doing so well (and it is actually a UK team – including Northern Ireland – not a GB team) and Canada has seen better Summer Olympics, along with worse ones, of course. When we (Canada) were rollicking through the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, in fact, I felt a little embarrassed at our success, and wished the UK well at every opportunity.
The other reason for me rooting for the Canadians is that my sister played soccer for Canada and didn’t get a chance to go to the Olympics, something I regret probably more than she does. I would have loved to go down to Atlanta or Sydney or Athens and cheer her on, but, sadly, it wasn’t to be. I did drive down, with my wife, Michelle, and a couple of friends, to San Jose to watch Liz play in the Women’s World Cup (driving through the night and getting there from Edmonton in about 25 hours), but the Olympics, for women’s football at least, is special, the pinnacle of achievement. So, when I see a player in red and white streaking down the flank or charging down a striker with the sort of speed most men would envy, I think of her. If only.