Be proud of our athletes

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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All the hand-wringing, editorializing and general concern over the state of the nation's amateur sports in the opening days of the Olympic Games seems a little, well, embarrassing.

But that's the value of hindsight. Who would have predicted, especially in those early days when Canada's medal count remained fixed at zero, that our nation would better its output of the two previous Olympics?

All the hand-wringing, editorializing and general concern over the state of the nation's amateur sports in the opening days of the Olympic Games seems a little, well, embarrassing.

But that's the value of hindsight. Who would have predicted, especially in those early days when Canada's medal count remained fixed at zero, that our nation would better its output of the two previous Olympics?

In the early days of the Beijing Olympics, more than a few media outlets pondered Canada's medal-less calamity, as if Canada's national identity were somehow intimately linked to its medal count.

Surely, we must now know the dangers of falling into this too-easy trap. Yes, we should take pride in our performances, and this most recent Games provide a few ready stories that are easily told, perhaps none more than 61-year-old Ian Millar, the iconic and seemingly omnipresent member of Canada's equestrian team, finally collecting an Olympic medal that had for so long eluded him. (On that note, Canadian Olympic Committee officials would not have been scorned had they chosen Millar to be the flag-bearer for the closing ceremonies.)

Millar's story is made poignant because it demonstrates how difficult it is to succeed on the international stage. It was his first medal in nine Olympics.

But is an effort rendered less valid in failure? Do the years of preparation and toil each athlete undertakes only become important in success?

We must remember that before an athlete can represent Canada, they must first demonstrate that they are among our best.

And, they remain as such, with or without medals and accolades. To them, then, we offer our thanks for being your best - for being Canada's best.

Organizations: Olympic Games, Beijing Olympics, Canadian Olympic Committee

Geographic location: Canada

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