So I'm watching the Olympics last night, which is something I try to do for a few hours every couple of years or so. (Hey, what's up with the four years between each Olympic Games? If Americans ran the show they would be a weekly series with taunting sessions like WWE Smackdown.) Two things were very impressive. 1) The American men's swimming team coming from behind to win the 400m relay. 2) The Chinese women's synchronized diving team absolutely crushing their opponents (even the announcer said 'all they have to do is hit the water on this last dive to win the gold) and showing their countrymen that individual achievement is a great thing.
But the really interesting thing was that we were watching on a Canadian channel. After a while I noticed that the Canadian angle to the Games was a little different. The daily round-up of events and qualification trials showed every Canadian who didn't qualify, came in 29th in some such event, or otherwise failed to make a good showing. The highlight of the day was the men's swim team coming in 6th in the finals. After noticing this I came up with a new tag line for the Canadian athletes: Canadian Olympics, A Study in Mediocrity.
But anyone who knows Canadians knows that this is not really much of an insult. They tend to like their sedate, non-Superpower status. I think their national motto is something like "Don't bother us and we won't bother you." (I could be misquoting that.) Don't get me wrong, I love Canada. I still remember they rescued some of our hostages from Iran thirty years ago. But it's the kind of love a jockhead big brother feels for his toddler little brother who keeps getting stuck climbing the tree in the backyard. Maybe one day that will be an Olympic sport.