Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Olympic spirit

We have really been enjoying the Olympics for the past few weeks. I'm sure that has a lot to do with our being the host country, but whatever the reason, we are tuned into the Olympics pretty much the entire time we are home (and it's often on at work, too). Coverage this year has been fantastic - we have 4 networks to choose from, so there is nearly always something we are interested in to watch.

(It helps that Canada has been doing well at some of our favourite winter sports - Snowboard Cross is by far my favourite. Though it's amazing how even the luge and bobsled become so enthralling when there is much at stake like this.)

Liam's class at school has been doing an Olympics-themed unit, and he has been learning about the mascots and the Inukshuk and the Olympic rings (seen here in plasticine, a little the worse for wear after a rough trip home in his backpack). He has also really been enjoying watching the sports on TV. His favourites seem to be speed skating (something he can identify with, perhaps?) and alpine skiing.

In fact, on Monday he was upset with me because I said skiing would be on that night (having thought the women's ski cross was running). I was off by a day and when we came home, all that was on was curling. "But you said there was skiing!" he kept protesting. Next time, I will double check the schedule before opening my mouth.

To us, watching all the events on TV is entertainment, but for Liam it has been really educational. He is getting good now at pointing out the flags of various countries. He especially likes events such as long track speed skating, when pairs set off together and the flags are on screen while they race (and as a bonus, they have that pace line moving around the track with the athletes, showing him whether they are winning or not). He and Chad have had the globe out a few times to figure out where some of these places are. Of course, his favourite events of all are any final heat that a Canadian team is in, where we all jump around screaming "GO GO GO!" at the TV. Sometimes we win and it's thrilling for him. Sometimes we lose (Chris del Bosco's fall right at the finish line, for example) and it's a bit puzzling and disappointing for him, but that's life.

In a few more days, it will all be over. We've been sending empty paper towel rolls into class for the past few weeks so the kids can make Olympic torches, something that surely must be happening when Liam is back at school on Friday, because if not then, then when? I have a few days left to get as much wear out of my Canada hoodie as possible. (It has shrunk something terrible in the wash, so maybe it's best to retire it, after all.) A few more days to pick up a few more medals... it sounds like we are serious contenders in several upcoming events, so that will be exciting to watch. And when it's all over, we'll still have K.D. Lang singing "Hallelujah" on the iPod to remind us of it all, and London 2012 to look forward to.