About national pride

It’s the Olympic Games. I do watch some sports, and I am definitely happy when Canada wins medals. But I can’t help but wonder why.

Why are people proud when a perfect stranger who was simply born and/or raised and/or trained in their country wins a medal? How does that reflect on us? Am I a better person because one of 33 millions other people who live in my country did good in a sport? I really don’t get it, on an intellectual level. It just makes no sense. I didn’t do anything to help him or her win. And his or her victory will not change anything in my life.

Of course, on an emotional level, I’m happy.

A co-worker objected that I did do something to help Canadian athletes win. I payed. With my taxes, I subsidized their training. But that is honestly a very tiny contribution. And I didn’t do it knowingly or on purpose. So I still don’t see where my feeling comes from…

2 Responses to “About national pride”

  1. Kathleen Says:

    Interesting. I mean we get excited because of patriotism, but its true that it is kinda odd when you think about it.

    The thing I think is even odder sometimes is the “firsts” that are so played up in the media. First to win gold at home, first to win 3 gold metals in 3 different sports, first women wearing a blue toque to win a bronze, first person under 25 to win a silver twice while jumping up and down and singing…. sometimes it seems a bit silly after a while. Each Olympic games they come up with a new big ‘first’ to get excited about.


  2. sophie Says:

    That is so true! I think you should give some ideas to the commentators, they seem to have forgotten to talk about the color of the tuques so far. Although they certainly talked about the outfits more than once!