Enjoying Olympic moments

  • Feb. 12, 2014 5:51 p.m.

The start of this edition of the winter Olympics is like stepping out of your 20C home and into the -35C deep freeze which is what we call outside.

A slap in the face is one way to describe the change in climate.

The same can be said when it comes to watching the Olympics as compared to the mainstream sports we get a steady diet of each day.

Tell me the last time you bundled up to watch anybody cross-country ski with a rifle strapped to their back?

Aside from your buddies, does anyone else watch you master the half pipe at the ski hill or stand at the bottom of the hill as you schuss on your skis?

There are of course sports like hockey, curling and figure skating where more than your parents, siblings and friends might turnout but at this time of year we are all fans of the 15 Olympic sports.

But what is more refreshing to me as a journalist and as a fan is the interviews following the completion of an event. For the most part, we get the raw emotion of these athletes right after their Olympic moment has come and gone.

In those moments we don’t get the canned, rehearsed and uninspiring quotes which get trotted out by so many professional athletes on a regular basis.

Watching the sisters from Quebec celebrate their medals and then the interview right away was a great example of what it means to be an amateur athlete.

Alex Bilodeau sharing the moment with his brother after another mogul gold.

An interview with snowboarder Spencer O’Brien after she had a terrible performance was even more intriguing. She made no excuses for her times but did not back down from her effort. She was close to tears talking about it but unlike a host of pro athletes who had a bad day, she showed up for the cameras and the raw emotion leaked out all over the place.

Good or bad these young men and women are the real deal when it comes to facing the media and at the same time the public who supports them.

This is what inspires kids to be an athlete in my mind. Working hard all year, putting it on the line and then talking about it no matter what the result.

This glimpse into the soul of an athlete may not last long in real time but will stick with me forever.

Go Canada!