Thursday, February 25, 2010

Your Olympic Pride: A Letter to My Facebook Friends

Dear facebook friends,

Thank you for your open support of the 2010 Olympic games.

It really is inspiring to see how many of you have changed your profile pictures to show your patriotism and how enthusiastically and frequently you tout your Olympic pride.

I would especially like to thank the people who are not content to post something status-quo, simple, or tasteful such as "Go Canada!" or "Way to go [insert Olympian's name]" but rather feel the need to get a little more detailed and, often, aggressive with their outward displays of pride.

Sure, it's great to note that Joannie Rochette put on a brave face, competing in the ladies' figure skating short program on Tuesday night just days after her mother passed away. We're all pumped to watch her compete tonight and it's awesome to support her in a public forum like social networking.

However, I want to thank some of you for not just stating that you're rooting for her, and for not being content to simply watch her epic, emotional medal bid in the face of tradgedy but, more importantly, for updating your facebook profile to tell the world how Joannie Rochette's struggle has affected you.

That's dedication.

Sure, Rochette's resolve and the human drama unfolding on my TV screen are amazing in and of themselves, but when I log on to facebook the next day to see that you "literally wept as you watched her skate," that's when I fully understand how great what I watched the night before was.

"Wow," I realize. "That was powerful stuff last night."

The same goes for hockey.

Watching last night's Canada-Russia game, enjoying a beer and screaming at my TV, I thought, "Man, this really is an enjoyable experience. Canada is kicking ass. This is great!"

The next day however, I was inspired to see that some of you enjoyed the game even more than I did.

For not only had you watched the game, like me, but you had gone the extra mile and taken the time to update your facebook status every time anything actually happened in that game.

Your fanatacism makes my enthusiasm for the Olympics look amateurish by comparison. Sure, I watched that goal, but I didn't really have any proof that I did.

Here you were, a true Canadian, taking the time to make sure the world knew "I saw that goal happen!"

You made me realize that it's not enough to simply watch, root for, and be excited by our nation's athletes, I need to make sure everyone is aware that I'm excited. In fact, ensuring all my facebook friends are aware I'm into the hockey game may actually be more important than actually watching the hockey game.

Thank you for setting me straight.

Thanks too for setting the general tone of my responses to the Olympics

Until I opened facebook the day after Canada lost to the US in hockey, I wasn't sure how I should feel. Thankfully your facebook status assured me, "Canada lost. Boo!!!! This sucks!!" Yes, I thought. This does suck.

Thank you facebook friend.

You put things in perspective.

Accordingly, tonight, as I watch the Canadian women's hockey team play the US for gold and as I watch Joannie Rochette perform in what is sure to be an emotional free skate, I'll forgo my beer and, instead, fire up the laptop.

As the night progresses, I'll be sure to have one eye on the TV screen and one on my facebook home page, constantly refreshing to see how what is unfolding on the ice is affecting all my facebook friends.

Thank you again for increasing my appreciation of the Olympic winter games.

I appreciate the fact that you understand what the Olympics are really about: You.


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