Canada wakes up after Games climax at ease with itself
By Steve Keating
VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Canadians awoke to something new on Monday, a strange feeling they could compete with the big boys and feel good about it.
As the flame went out on the Vancouver Olympics on Sunday, Games chief John Furlong told a cheering crowd: "It was time to look at the Canada that is and not the Canada that was."
These had been wonderful and weird times for Canadians, 17 super-charged days that shifted the national identity.
They went to bed on Sunday knowing they just won more gold medals (14) in a single Winter Olympics than any country ever and, well, are not quite sure exactly how to react.
After all, celebrating gold on home soil was something quite foreign for Canadians who have twice before staged Olympic Games and played the perfect hosts by not actually taking any gold medals for themselves.
Having watched their bigger, brasher, richer American neighbor to the south wave the flag at every opportunity, Canadians quickly caught on to the idea and hooted and hollered but then asked if they were being too loud or bothering someone.
The burst of pride felt good right down to the soles of their Canadian Sorels and they filled the streets of one of world's most liveable cities for a two-week party.
They boldly claimed to Own the Podium and then apologized for it. Continued...