2.25.2006

gold

After the Canadian men's curling team won the gold medal yesterday, I really enjoyed the coverage.

Who wasn't moved watching Brad Gushue's mom, kept from Torino by cancer treatments, celebrate at home with family and neighbours? It was great seeing a livingroom full of people sipping champagne as Gushue called her from the rink. And the scenes from around Newfoundland - kids being let out of school early, pubs packed, the province virtually shutting down to watch the game - reminded me of New England when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. Isn't it great how you can feel so happy for people you don't even know?

Before the gold-medal game, CBC noted some disappointed men's hockey fans had come over to watch curling. One of them said into the microphone, "At least we can get some medal on the ice." I guess the women's hockey gold medal doesn't count. Grrr.

The frequent TV ads for Newfoundland and Labrador tourism are very effective: they're really making me want to go. The land looks so beautiful - on the ads, at least, it looks like Ireland. I want to see all of Canada, but Newfoundland has just moved up on The List.

12 comments:

Scott M. said...

I have visited the west coast of Newfounland, from Port au Basques to Gros Morne National Park. It truly is amazing if you're a "natural beauty" person as I am.

Kayaking, mountain climbing, hundreds of kilometers of windswept bare rock, high winds... wow, it was fun. I look forward to visiting again for a few weeks next time.

L-girl said...

That does sound amazing.

I love visiting both big cities and natural beauty. I really need both.

We don't kayak or climb mountains, but just walking and hiking - just seeing - beautiful landscapes is so wonderful. I find it refreshes me in a way that nothing else does.

Scott M. said...

You'll have a hard time finding big cities on the Island or in Labrador... the largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador is St. John's (not St. John!!) with a population of less than 200,000 when you include the greater metropolitan area.

Hopefully your love of visiting natural beauty isn't coupled closely with a need to visit big cities... :)

L-girl said...

I like both kinds of vacations, in general. But not necessarily on the same trip!

Some trips are one, some trips are the other, some have both...

Scott M. said...

On the list of beautiful places in Canada, it's probably second only to BC. In fact, I would advise that if you intend on going to BC, you either put a couple of years beteween Nfld and BC or you go to BC first. That way you'll appreciate Newfoundland and not have it immediately superceded by BC.

L-girl said...

The Alberta Rockies doesn't make your list?

James said...

Newfoundland's very like Ireland largely because it's part of the same geological structure. Before the Atlantic split and spread, Newfoundland, Ireland, and Scotland were all one mass.

And, of course, it's settled almost exclusively by the Irish! They only got a non-Roman Catholic public school system recently -- less than 10 years ago, IIRC.

Did you catch the singing of the Ode to Newfoundland after the gold medal game?

Granny said...

I missed it but caught some highlights. I did hear the breaking news announcements.

I'm one of those weird Yanks who likes curling although I know very little about it except it reminds me of shuffleboard with ice and brooms.

They look like they're having a great time and that anyone can do it, even it not too well.

I bet Canada has senior curling teams.

L-girl said...

Newfoundland's very like Ireland largely because it's part of the same geological structure. Before the Atlantic split and spread, Newfoundland, Ireland, and Scotland were all one mass.

Wow, cool. I wonder how the climate compares. Do you know?

And, of course, it's settled almost exclusively by the Irish!

That would also do it. :)

Did you catch the singing of the Ode to Newfoundland after the gold medal game?

I sure did! Really neat.

L-girl said...

I know very little about it except it reminds me of shuffleboard with ice and brooms.

That's basically what it is. It's also related to boccie and petanque, two very old sports.

They look like they're having a great time and that anyone can do it, even it not too well.

I always think this, too - that it looks like something anyone can try. Unlike most Olympic sports!

Many Canadians have told me that curling clubs are a basically a good excuse to get together and drink beer, similar to many bowling or softball leagues in the US.

Ontario Wanderer said...

I don't think the sex of the olympians matters much, but if it does I am glad our women went as they have most of the metals for Canada at my last count. I guess I should try again to watch a hockey game. I've never made it through a whole game. On the other hand, who wants to watch someone else play a game when there is something else to do. Chop wood, walk the dog, take a hike, do yoga, doing anything instead of watching someone else do something is more important to me.

Newfoundland? Yes, beautiful, but my memories of Ireland are better and I don't remember blackflies in Ireland. That being said, don't miss Newfoundland nor Quebec nor even High Park in Toronto. Beauty is where you find it! I am still making discoveries in our backyard.

James said...

I'm one of those weird Yanks who likes curling although I know very little about it except it reminds me of shuffleboard with ice and brooms.

That's what it is.

They look like they're having a great time and that anyone can do it, even it not too well.

It's definitely more accessible than many other sports. It's not very athletic, but it does require some sharp skills to be able to play it well.

Wow, cool. I wonder how the climate compares. Do you know?

So far as I know, Newfoundland is rather harsher, thanks to the relative positions of the Gulf Stream and Greenland. Labrador is more like Norway or Iceland than Ireland. Though the 60cm of snow with hurricane force winds that hit this weekend is atypical.

Did you catch the singing of the Ode to Newfoundland after the gold medal game?

I sure did! Really neat.


I sometimes think that Newfoundland has a greater claim to "distinct society" status than much of Quebec.

Many Canadians have told me that curling clubs are a basically a good excuse to get together and drink beer, similar to many bowling or softball leagues in the US.

Lori, and adopted Newfie, insists that that's one of the reasons it's so popular in Newfoundland.

Since Newfoundland's economy is so dependent on seasonal fishing, there's not a lot for many Newfs to do during the winter. Curling's a great way to fill the time between beers.