According to people who seem to know what they are talking about, the two certainties in life are death and taxes. To this I’d like to add a third certainty: Olympic predictions. The pre-Olympic season is rife with endless chatter about who the favourites are, who is expected to perform and who is going to win, win, win!
Since his sudden and tragic passing in April, Randy Starkman’s Olympics Blog has faithfully remained in the top left spot of my computer’s web browser favourites page. That it has not been replaced with another, more frequently viewed site is surprising. But given that I went to his site for my Olympic sport news everyday for years, I suppose it could be expected. Just recently the site went blank, a moment that I knew was coming, but it saddened me all the same as I was reminded then that Randy really is gone and I can’t rely on him for my Olympic fix this time around.
Row, row, row your boat
It is rarely disputed that I was rather inept at team sports as a youngster. Whether that was because I simply favoured solo sport over team sport and missed opportunities to develop those skills or because I was naturally well suited for solo sports and thus excelled at them is really a moot point. I don’t like team sports so I’m not good at them and I’m not good at team sports so I don’t like them. Whatever. Give me the choice between going it alone or trying to make it on a team and I will always choose the solo endeavour.
Just prior to the Olympics in Vancouver Randy Starkman wrote an article about me with the headline ‘Big Heart, Big Results’. When I think of Randy and what he meant to me, to Canadian Olympic athletes and to the entire amateur sport community, the one word that comes to mind is: ditto.
It’s the honest truth that most of the news we hear about First Nations communities in Canada is overwhelmingly bad. I pay close enough attention to current affairs to at least know that. The most recent wave of bad news to wash over the country has been about the remote Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario. Did anybody see? Did anybody hear? Maybe it’s the relentless barrage of global tragedies that makes us numb to more bad news. Continue reading
Back in the familiar surroundings and relative comforts of my own home, it’s hard to imagine that the week I just had actually happened and that it wasn’t a dream or some crazy trip to an alternate universe. It’s remarkable how quickly we can become reacquainted with our own normal lives after otherworldly and eye-opening experiences.
Regardless of where I am sitting now however, I am not entirely the same person I was a week ago, as we all are not, having lived through another seven days and evolved, to a greater or lesser extent, into someone just a little bit older and wiser, for one reason or another. Continue reading
Recently I learned that I’ve been unceremoniously removed from Schedule B. I didn’t even know what Schedule B was, or that it existed for that matter, until I found out I was no longer on it. At a recent meeting of the powers that be at Speed Skating Canada, where such things are decided, my name was briefly highlighted then swiftly deleted without so much as a sigh, or so I’m told. Continue reading