Sunday, August 12, 2012

US 48 Gold Medals, Canada 1

A cursory glance at the final tally of Olympic medals confirms the old saw: "Canada is proof that nice guys finish last."

Consider: 22-million pop. Australia had 35 medals, 7 gold, and New Zealand 13 medals, five gold. These two countries between them have fewer than Canada alone by five million folks. Yet their 48 medals is more than 2 1/2 times the paltry 18 that Canada, a country of 33 million people amassed.

The UK at a recent Olympics had only 1 gold, as Canada did this round of games, so the UK's 29 golds and 65 medals overall proved that a country can pick up its athletic programs---and we should remember that Canada is sure to do better at Sochi as it did at Vancouver. But even tiny Ireland got as many golds as Canada, and in women's boxing where Katie Taylor was a charismatic hit. In contrast, Canada's lone gold was in women's trampoline...!

I once took an English lit course across Anglophone cultures and one of the themes taught was the constantly recurring Canadian tradition through the last century and a half of literary breast-beating about Canadian mediocrity and even loserhood. I guess these Olympics won't break that tradition. OBTW, Minnesota TV watchers constantly praised the fact that CBC broadcast the Games live so that they weren't slaves to NBC's corporate commercials, which drive me up the proverbial wall. But sadly, perhaps not that many Canucks were watching their country lose every event [save that old Classical Peloppenese favorite: women's trampoline...!]

P.S. Funniest joke about Canada: "Two lumberjacks in Oregon were sitting in a bar. One brings up Canada and the other says, only Canadians i ever knew were hookers or hockey players. The huge fellow sitting next to him said "'My mother was Canadian. The first replied: What team did she play for?'"

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