Many places in Canada have more than 80 days a year when the temperature never rises above freezing – day after day after day. Here at the Red House in Alberta, the coldest month of 2013 was December. We had an average daily low temperature of -17°C (1.4°F). It is no wonder, then, that Canada kicked off their 2014 Olympics campaign with this video called ‘We are Winter’!
It has been a very successful Olympics for Canada. When the ‘snow’ cleared, we were third in gold medals and fourth in total medals. The most hyped event was Hockey, and Canada won both the Women’s and Men’s events.
Then there is Curling. For many Canadians (like me) the Olympics didn’t really start until we were parked in front of the TV with our red Maple Leaf mitts on, watching the first stones thrown down the curling rink. To our utter delight, the Canadian rinks of Jennifer Jones and Brad Jacobs took both the Women’s and Men’s Gold in this quirky sport.
The best story of the Sochi Olympics, however, was this: The Russian cross-country skier, Anton Gafarov, was an early medal favourite in the men’s cross-country skiing, but he crashed after one of his skis broke. He tried to limp into the grandstands with his damaged ski. Suddenly, Canadian cross-country skiing head coach Justin Wadsworth rushed up onto the course with one of his team’s spare skis. Justin quickly removed the Russian’s broken ski and slid the new ski into place. Anton was then able to finish the race.
Helping others get through winter – it is how Anton and Justin and all the rest of us survive cold weather – We are all Winter.
All sounds are sharper in winter; the air transmits better. At night I hear more distinctly the steady roar of the North Mountain. In summer it is a sort of complacent purr, as the breezes stroke down its sides; but in winter always the same low, sullen growl.
– John Burroughs, “The Snow-Walkers,” 1866 –
Tom Brokaw explains Canada to Americans during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Canada: