Monday, March 1, 2010

The Almost NOlympics

Ah, winter of 1976. The year Dorothy Hamill inspired the five year old me to wear my hair in that funky bob for the next 10 years. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, the days off school to watch skiing and skating and curling. I fell in love with the Olympics that year, Dorothy was my first idol, then the summer Olympics in Montreal ensured a lifetime obsession by giving me (and the world) a little Nadia Comaneci. Since then, I have adored the Olympics, always a pleasure to watch countries come together in peace and share in the love of sport. Families gather around the warmth of the television to cheer on their countrymen and bond over the losses, the wins and the human interest stories.

I was bursting with excitement for this year's Vancouver Olympics, who could blame me? "Canada" and "Olympics" in one easy shot, a way to share my love of both with my son. I wept during the opening ceremonies, I love that Canada had a message about the environment and featured our indigenous peoples. KD Lang blew me away, the effects were great, I enjoyed myself immensely (yes, even through the tears). Unfortunately it was a bit late at night so Max was asleep, but when we awoke the next morning I was ready to watch events all day long and teach my son a thing or two about Canada, world geography and sport. I turned on the tv and went to the station that had shown the opening ceremonies. Nothing. I searched through the listings, nada. How could it be? The Olympics were just starting and we had no coverage? (Grab heart, throw other hand over forehead, weep and cry "woe is me!")

This happened every day. Me with great hope in my heart, seeking some Olympics on tv, online, everywhere. The main online portals had streaming video, sure, if you live in the US or Canada, they were blocked in Mexico. I found a stream for the first US/Canada hockey game but promptly got attacked by a virus. There were a few days where we found broadcasts between 2 and 3 in the afternoon, but never enough and never the high profile events that I wanted to see. I fell deeper and deeper into a NOlympic depression, feeling left out of the whole thing, like being the only kid in class who was not invited to the party.

And then, oh joy, oh bliss, the local channel decided to run the ladies figure skating final!! I wept (ok, perhaps I'm a little sensitive, yes, I cry, get over it Hubby!) and fell in love with Joannie, felt enormous pride in her medal and actually woke Max up to tell him about it. Then a real bonus, the figure skating gala was televised and I was able to weep and fill up my half-empty Olympic heart a little more.

The highlight of the winter Olympics for any good Canadian is the hockey. I will admit, I actually despise the game, but I love Canada and Olympic hockey is much more enjoyable to watch than the fight club they call NHL. I decided not to sit at home and wait to see if it was broadcast, we set off for Hooters (yeah, I know, shhhh) and set up camp with my maple leaf flag flying proudly from our table. A good friend joined us, we watched the game (no sound, argh), and I pretended my Pacifico was a Moosehead. Oh such joy to win that game, my Canadian heart swelled (no tears, we were in public you know!), I got a little tipsy and we made our merry way home.

I watched some of the closing ceremonies (yes, more tears, brutal eh?) and then fell soundly asleep. My NOlympics had changed to the OH!lympics and I was a happy girl. I wish we could have seen more, that Max could have learned more and perhaps found a hairstyle idol of his own but I am happy that he at least got a sample of all that the Olympics are about and a little taste of Canada thrown in. My fingers are crossed that Mexican television gets it together for the London 2012 summer games so we can rock out with the gymnasts and skullers and soccer players (nope, don't like soccer either, but I've got some tears saved up for Mexico!)


Kelly said...

I thought of you during the Olympics, and wondered if it was broadcast in Mexico! You couldn't escape it here, but perhaps I would've appreciated it more if I'd known not everyone could watch! I'm ready for the Summer Olympics, that's the one that really sucks me in.

Manolo said...

I felt your desperation through fb amiga. If the world still makes sense there would be coverage of the Summer Olympics on your neck of the woods, particularly Mexican divers. To be honest, before coming up here (almost a decade ago) I didn't know there was "other" Olympics. The other even year that was no Olympics it was the World Cup ;-)
Ah, and you must must show Max curling, it is so fun, and exciting (from the 9th end on).

Alice said...

I had NOlympic depression, as well. Aguascalientes 22 was the only channel with olympic coverage, but it was either in the middle of the afternoon or after 11pm. Argh!!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry! Mexico does show pretty full coverage of the summer Olympics. I watched the Beijing Olympics from Cancun 2 summers ago and loved it (except for those sneaky gymnast girls... grrrr!)

I assume they don't do the same for winter Olympics because I don't think Mexico participates very much in winter sports. I miss it, too. :( Congrats to your fellow Canucks on all their wins!

Unknown said...

Canada scored a 100 points with these Winter Olympics!!!! Here in Guatemala we had good coverage from US NBC Channel and I had the chance to watch A LOT of the competitions....awesome!!!
By the way: Im planning to visit Toronto next June!!!

Croft said...

When you have made your fortune you will have to treat yourself to a StarChoice system. All Canada, All the time!

Sue said...

I was looking for live coverage too, and was surprised there wasn't anything. I don't get it, it's not like they didn't sell tickets to us down here if they gave it to us on tv. But I am proud of Canada, yes - I played ice hockey as a teenager and those women are great! All athletes who play cleanly are terrific, in my book - such dedication, and for the winter games, they are people who don't mind the cold. Not like me, who was freezing here with temps in the 50's.

CancunCanuck said...

Kelly- I love the Summer Olympics too, I adore the gymnastics and watching the rowing makes me happy (weird, I know!). I suspect we'll see more summer games for sure. :)

Manolo- Am I that transparent? ;-) Hubby didn't have much interest in the winter games either, though strangely he did play hockey as a kid in Puebla. I loved curling as a kid, I think it's much more entertaining to play than to watch, screaming "SWEEEEEEEP" gets the adrenaline going, haha.

Alice- Yes, the times were bad, the broadcasts were of strange little events (try explaining biathlon to a 4 year old, "So, um, they ski but not on a hill and then they shoot at the piece of paper and..."). Thanks for stopping by! :)

gringation- I seem to recall more coverage of the last winter Olympics in Turin and yes, we did see the Beijing games. I remember watching Ana Guevara race for the medals, I was working in the English school and all the classes came out to the lobby to watch. I was jumping up and down with excitement at her silver medal while all the Mexicans were long-faced and grumbling that she had "lost". I guess it was gold or nothing in their eyes, lol.

Estuardo- You are so fortunate to have the NBC coverage, que suerte! Happy planning on the Canada trip, I think that's fantastic! The previous commenter (Manolo) is from Guatemala and lives in Toronto, say hi to each other guys. :)

Croft- Ah yes, the elusive fortune, haha. Starchoice sounds yummy, would love to have my CBC back!

Sue- I'm with you, can't stand the cold long enough to participate in winter sports. If I went skiing with friends, I was the one tending to the fireplace and hot toddies. I am truly proud of Canada too, I think they did a great job on the games and the athletes were phenomenal.

KfromMichigan said...

Congrats to Canada! I'm glad they won since the game was played in their country. BUT, did you know that the Detroit Red Wings Stevie Yzerman put the Canada team together? And the Red Wings coach was the coach of the Canadian team? Yeah, I love my Red Wings!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I also live in Cancun and I am from Vancouver. I was disappointed to say the least about the non-coverage of the Olympics here. I had to live vicariously through my family's photos that were posted on FB and also whatever else I could find on the net.GO Canada Go!!

cressie00 said...

Now that the Olympics are over we are going thru withdrawal but here's a cute video of Red Mitten Flash Mob during the Olympics. Only in Canada, eh?

Heather said...

I've been in your pain before. This was only my 2nd time watching the Olympics in the USA since i was 18. Its hard to get coverage but glad you got some. Yeah for Canada and Hockey! Nw Im ready for the world cup! I did several blogs on the olympics and the latinos in the winter olympics.

Sara said...

Oh! I feel your pain. Okay so your situation is much more dramatic than any of mine have been, there have def been occasions when my whole family is talking about something that is on TV or on Channel blahblahblah and think I could even find mention of it? Nope.

CancunCanuck said...

KW- Aw, little Stevie Yzerman, good Canadian boy! Growing up in Windsor, you either loved Steve or you were exiled, lol. A Canadian Red Wing, Windsorites were in heaven. :)

Ashlie- Sorry to hear you were in the same boat, it was a rough ride. I have friends in Vancouver who were at a lot of the events, I drooled over their photos! :)

cressie- Thanks for that!! My son keeps asking for more Olympics, told him he has to wait a couple of years, haha. :)

Heather- I'll have to go check out your blog, I have been sooooo out of the blogosphere lately, yoiks!

Sara- I know, I know, my parents have figured out not to ask me if I saw such and such a program, but sometimes they get so excited about something they know I would love and I have to google around to see what they are talking about, haha. Hope you are well chica!!

ElleCancun said...

Amiga - I'm just catching up on blogs now, and boy oh boy was I upset as well!! I couldn't believe it. Then I did a little google work, and found Mexico had only sent 1 olympian to Vancouver... I am guessing that is why it wasn't televised here. Just guessing!! I used to live in Vancouver, and really would have loooved to catch a glimpse. Especially since most of my family were at the games... tear :(

I watched most of the Canada games at La Taberna, and the final at the Bahia Principe with friends. You should have seen the CDN pride that showed up to watch that game! I took plenty of pics, and will have to post some soon!

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