Go Canada Go!
By Jillian McMullen, Staff Writer
The Olympics are a time of coming together to celebrate the talent borne out of each participant nation. The competing athletes are the best of the best in their sport, having trained their entire lives for the chance to stand on the Olympic podium and hear their national anthem played. Canada’s strength in winter sports is world-renowned, and our teams have won gold in some of the most highly-anticipated matches of the games, mostly notably curling. Although we have seen fewer gold medal wins at this year’s games in comparison to previous years, the Canadian players have broken records for highest number of participation badges recieved.
The Olympic committee decided to begin handing out the badges after they noticed unsuccessful athletes were falling into deep, dark depressions after the games. In an interview with the Other Press, Paul Palemen, director of the committee’s outreach initiatives, explained how they hoped the badges would help dull the embarrassing pain of losing on the international stage.
“When you lose at the Olympics, the entire world is watching,” he said. “Your loss is translated into hundreds of different languages, replayed over and over again in slow motion, with commentators analysing every wrong move. It can be tough, so we’re hoping these participation badges will act as a reminder that those athletes aren’t a total disgrace to their country.”
Although this was the first year for the badges and no previous records existed, Team Canada was a front-runner throughout the games. They captured a total of 195 badges across the 14 sports in which they competed, leagues ahead of the next nation who only received 42. Even countries with warmer climates whose athletes could only train in facilities with fake snow, and who had never participated in the winter games, were unable to match the Team Canada’s historic losses.
Mary Margaret, who grew up in Whistler BC, became a household name after she disastrously stuck the landing of her ski jump not on her skis, but on her face.
“Yeah, the landing hurt, but the mockery that came afterwards hurt more,” she said. “I’m glad that after years of training, I still get to bring home something to show my mom. She’ll be so proud… well, sort of.”
One of Team Canada’s lead coaches, Jim Jiminy, said he was proud of what the nation had accomplished. “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Often, we only celebrate the wins, so I think it’s great that we’re pointing out the losers, too.”