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Glowing, Glowing, Glowing

Glowing, Glowing, Glowing

By Chi Lo
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In case you have been in another universe, Canada beat the US, in a tense, very tense 3-2 overtime win on a goal scored by none other than Sid the Kid.

... earlier today...

Armed with flag, red mittens, hockey helmet and other patriotic garb, not to mention with red maple leaves drawn on our cheeks (by lipstick), we made our way over to the Embassy of Canada, our sanctuary on "enemy" soil. But when we got there, I was a little confused because there were people there wearing Bruins hats, Red Wings jerseys, scarves with stars on them, Uncle Sam costumes? Was I in the right place?

Duh - Canadians and Vancouverites being hosts to the world, must also be gracious hosts to our hosts. So, Canadians and Americans in the same room, watched the game over chants of U-S-A U-S-A. We, in fewer numbers as usual, retaliated CA-NA-DA CA-NA-DA.

It was a fairly large event, with separate viewing rooms, Molson, poutine, and other goodies. Ambassador Doer spoke, and they gave away a few pairs of red mittens. By the end of the first period, and up 2-0, my fellow countryfolk were high-fiving and hugging, complete strangers only twenty minutes ago.

Up until the last minute with the score 2-1, I admit I had already begun counting down in my head,I was feeling alright. But then, Zach Parise scored with 24.4 seconds left in the third, silencing an entire nation and then some. The next minutes between the end of the third and the beginning of OT ... tick ... tocked ... tick ... tocked ... by...

AND THEN, at the 7:40 mark of OT, the embassy erupted. Excited, elated, ecstatic, doesn't even come close to describing it. It was surreal. The relief, joy, pride took over, and eyes welled with tears as the embassy began singing O Canada, in French and in English, even before the medals were presented. And, when they did present the medals (and how perfect that it was in numerical order, and our hero, #87, Sidney Crosby was decorated last) the embassy exploded in cheers again, and the emotions flooded, again.

All the names I was called (one of my personal favourites: loudmouth Canadian jingo) was totally worth the bragging rights for the next four years. But for all the smack talking, I have to say that walking down the street with a maple leaf and glow on my face invited (hugs from more Canadian strangers but equally importantly) courageous congratulations from American passers-by.

So, in a fortnight, Canada, "with glowing hearts" went from the only Olympic host country that had not won gold on home soil, to the most golden nation in the history of the winter games.

Chi Lo is a Vancouver native who lives in Washington, DC. You can follow her blog at http://athousandkilometers.blogspot.com/2010/03/glowing-glowing-glowing.html

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