Getting paid to cover the Olympics is awesome, but since BuddyTV is an American site, I can't really gush about Canadian accomplishments unless it is "newsworthy". I've been able to sneak a few Canadian feats in thanks to some creative article ideas, but for the most parts, I've just had to keep my Canadian joy in unpaid form. But that is why I have this blog, so I can just spew out my thoughts and hope maybe one other person cares enough to read it (luckily, I've had a few more than one who want to read).
It is interesting how our southern neighbours view the Olympics compared to us. They haul in so many medals on a daily basis that not winning the gold is usually a bummer for them. They've got a million dollar sports program and the best facilities in the world, plus a much larger population, so that is all part of the reason. Up here in Canada, we throw a parade whenever we just get a medal. We have 7, by the way, which are only 38 less than the United States.
Canadian should really be proud of those 7 medals. The games are at about the halfway point. This time at the last Olympics, we had just finally won a medal. We're on pace to do much better than the Beijing Olympics. Of course, that means we need to start winning in the events that we're favoured in. It would be nice to finally bring home a little gold. Of course, "finally" is a rather funny word, after I just admitted we've won 7 more medals than we did this time last Olympics.
Team Bruce Li, or also knows as Alex Bruce and Michele Li, lost in the Bronze medal match in badminton. The whole badminton controversy put us in a great spot to get a surprise medal since 8 of the top players were sent packing for throwing games. Despite not winning a medal, they still made history by being the first Canadians to make the semifinals in badminton. See what I mean from before? Canadians find glory in the small things. It helps when you don't haul in a medal every hour or so.
We do have some big wins to be proud about too. Canada defeated Great Britain in women's soccer, in order to go to the semifinals for the first time ever in that Olympic sport. We actually have a chance for a medal in a sport that I don't think anyone thought much of our chances. Of course, we now play the heavily favoured United States, and I don't think we'll have the same chances as we do in hockey. It may be a blow out, but it is still cool they're in sniffing distance of a medal.
In basketball, Canada hasn't been in the Olympics for 12 years. Now, our women's team is off to the quarterfinals and one win away for a chance at a medal. This was another team that no one gave a shot to do anything, and so it cool to see them get this point. The one thing sweeter than a medal, is winning it when you're the extreme underdog.
On the bummer side of things, Dylan Armstrong was a heavy medal favourite for shot put, but he landed in fifth spot. I feel bad for the guy, because he just came short of a medal in Beijing. He'd spent 4 years refocusing and building his confidence. This was supposed to be his redemption. But fifth place is still a great performance, and I hate it when athletes fell they've "let their country down." All we do is sit on our asses and cheer them on; they're the people who worked years and years to compete in an event we could only dream about.
Paula Findlay also raced her first triathlon in a year today. It is pretty crazy to have your comeback race at the Olympics. She was number one before injury, and not many gave her a chance today. Unfortunately, her injured hip seemed to be an issue and she came in last, but she also finished. I'm sure she still has an amazing future and will get back in the top spot soon enough.
Karen Cockburn is the most decorated athlete in an Olympic sport that I practiced many times in a friend's backyard, trampoline. My move was the jump in the air and land on my ass. Not really gold medal worthy. She is a huge favourite for a medal, and it would be nice if she can nab her first gold.
Emilie Heymens and Jennifer Abel can add another medal today too, as they both compete in the 3 metre springboard. Heymens will have the chance to continue her own success in diving, and continue to be one of Canada’s most decorated Summer Olympians. Neither are the favourites to win, but I'm sure will make a great run for it.
Ryan Cochrane posted the third fastest time in his heat for the 1500 meter swim, and so he has to be a strong contender today for a medal too.
It is looking like an interesting day for Canada.
Usain Bolt jogged into the semifinals of the 100 meter. Canadian Justyn Warner ran his personal best and clocked the same time as Bolt. Of course, Bolt was running just to ensure he got to the next round, while Warner performed the race of his life. I don't expect Bolt to really put on his best until at least the semis. The world record breaking will likely be saved for the finals.
Yesterday, a woman from Saudi Arabia and a woman from Afghanistan became the first female athletes from their countries to compete in the Olympic. Both were far from Olympic form, but that really isn't the point. This is a huge move for global women rights. It is fantastic they got to compete in the Olympics. Both had to endure a lot of hardship to get here, and the victory was clearly being at the games. I plan to have a more in depth article on this for BuddyTV.
Speaking of BuddyTV, you can expect some more articles from me on the site today. I'll go work on those, and hope you enjoy another great day of the Olympics.