For Canada: Good Games or bad Games? More bad than good
These Games are over today?
Seemed like it was just 10 months ago that we arrived, how come they have to end so soon?
Good Olympics or bad Olympics for Canada?
As many medals as Beijing, fewer gold than at any Games since 1976.
Wanted a top-12 finish among countries and, as I type this, it doesn’t look like they’ll get there.
All in all, I’m saying bad.
From the inside, and I’d suspect from the outside, Canada didn’t quite measure up here.
Now, it is some ways unfair that we come to know some of these athletes for a fortnight and rush to judge them based on one performance on the world’s stage because all of them are brilliant enough to have got here, many have won World Cups or world championships and their talent cannot be denied.
But sports is about The Moment and popping a big one when everything is on the line. Greats do it – Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Bradley Wiggins are four who quickly come to mind here – and it provides those memorable moments that make the Olympics special.
Canada didn’t have many of those at all.
Yes, Diana Matheson’s goal against France was special but it was cast in the context of the loss to the United States in some ways.
It will unquestionably “the” London Games moment for Canadians, won’t it? And it’s because there are so few others.
These will be Games we remember for Paula Findlay and the men’s sprint relay team, for Dylan Armstrong and Jessica Zelinka, for Mary Spencer, for the boxers who got jobbed, an equestrian scandal, another synchronized swimming debacle, for moments of disappointment and sadness on the big stage.
But that’s why these games, despite the medal total, have to less than anyone hoped or expected.
And that brings us to our lone gold medalist and I’m tying this just after 9 a.m. in London so it could change.
And Rosie MacLennan’s win should be held up as one of those huge performances that should be remembered.
Yes, it was trampoline, one of those odd sports in the minds of many, but the fact not many of us know anything about it can’t diminish the accomplishment.
Quite simply, on the day of the biggest challenge of her sporting career, on the biggest stage, MacLennan put on the best routine she’s ever done.
That, my friends, is an Olympic performance.
Too bad we didn’t have many others.
They do this song after almost every final here and it’s very, very cool.
Things I say every four years, Vol. 1.294.603
“How many rounds are there in taekwondo?”
I think it might be the relaxed nature of the old pubs here that make me like them so much. Just blokes and lasses sitting around having a pint, no loud music, no servers wandering by wondering when you’ll next order.
But this was a bit much.
Looked up from my Tribute at The Ship sometime last night to see a lady walking with a dog on a leash.
Yeah, a dog.
Now, I don’t mind dogs – Super Dog can be a bit of pain but she’s relatively harmless – but I’m not sure they belong in Public Houses.
It was a tiny little thing – looked like a Jack Russell terrier – but, still.
Don’t forget, if you’re around when the gold medal basketball game starts – 3 p.m. here, 10 a.m. in Hazelville, check your local listings wherever you are – we’ll have one of those IGBT we like so much.
Stop by any time.
I know I can get this back home, but The Swan has Staropramen on tap and it’s quite a tasty concoction. How come no one’s told me about it before.
No, I am absolutely not going to the closing ceremonies.
They’re a TV show, actually, so I’m going to write a basketball story and find a TV in some little joint with some friends and close these Games the way they should be closed: Pint in hand, a wistful feeling in your heart.
But I will say this, wherever I am, there will be Brits who drop in for quick second to at least see some of what’s on TV.
It’s happened dozens of times over the days, when Mo Farah runs, people get off the street and into pubs; when Laura Trott cycled, people put lives on hold for a few moments, duck in to the nearest place that’s showing it and cheer.
The British media, for the most part, have been over-the-top cheerleaders for the duration of the Games, they hail their medallists unabashedly as heroes and it’s caught the fancy of the regular people.
We saw the same thing in China four years ago but that was to be expected; I have a feeling if you didn’t openly cheer for China you’d be kindly asked to go live in a part of China that no one should live in.
These people – public and media – are nuts. All this calm, British reserve has been, frankly, rubbish. They cheer and celebrate and it’s been quite something to see.
Okay, gotta get to the gym and get settled and spend the entire bronze medal game and 90-minute break before the gold figuring out a perfect two-day mini-vacation in this great city that starts whenever my eyes open tomorrow.
I’ve got Cheshire Cheese, Red Lion, Lillywhites at Piccadilly Circus, maybe a shot back at the Cabinet War Rooms and Cittie of Yorke pub on the list. What else have you got?