So this one kind of stopped me this morning: Canadian athletes turning down the opportunity to carry the flag in the opening ceremonies of the upcoming Winter Olympics:
|RENE JOHNSTON/TORONTO STAR|
|It wasn't such a heavy burden for Catriona LeMay Doan.|
"The opening ceremonies are a tiring enough process," said Emery Holmik, high-performance director of Speed Skating Canada. "If you add all the demands of being flag-bearer and with a relatively heavy racing schedule, taking on that extra task is, as they've correctly evaluated, too great a load."
My questions: What are those demands? I'm all for athletes concentrating on what they've been training to do for the past four years, and coming up with their best, but is there a "jinx" at work here, either real or perceived, or is this just chickening out of what really should be a singular honour in an athlete's career? (Some jinx -- the last Winter Games flag-bearer, Catriona LeMay Doan, won a gold medal). And how much of this is a "Canadian" thing -- I can't imagine it happening in places like the U.S., or Australia, where flag-waving is part of the routine.
I know who I'd like to nominate: Shane Doan.