Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Oh Vancouver

What makes some people a champion and others just also-rans.  Watching the Olympics brings this to mind.   Some times the most unlikely people produce something of greatness.  Perhaps the first moment of Olympic greatness occurred at the opening ceremonies from an unlikely source, a poet from the far North of Canada called Shane Koyczan.  He had written a poem about Canada which was posted on Utube and the Olympic Organizing Committee asked him to recite it at the opening.  He stood in the centre of the huge stadium, casually dressed and he recited…

We Are More

Poet Shane Koyczan read a poem at the opening ceremony.

This is an excerpt… some lines from the middle of the poem

we are the home of the Rocket and the Great One

who inspired little number nines

and little number ninety-nines

but we’re more than just hockey and fishing lines

off of the rocky coast of the Maritimes

and some say what defines us

is something as simple as please and thank you

and as for you’re welcome

well we say that too

but we are more

than genteel or civilized

we are an idea in the process

of being realized

we are young

we are cultures strung together

then woven into a tapestry

and the design

is what makes us more

than the sum total of our history

we are an experiment going right for a change

with influences that range from a to zed

There is something very Canadian about this young man.  He doesn’t look like a poet.  He doesn’t look like Hollywood.  But in his own way he is a champion.

So I think about all the money that the government put into producing a good Olympic team this year and I wonder about whether it is worth it.  It probably is to the men and women who got to build their skills, who had coaching and training and were paid to train.  Too bad that that doesn’t exist in bridge except for the very few who are sponsored.

Back at the games we see the winners.  They seem to fall into a number of categories.  Those who seem always to have been destined to win and meet their potential, those who seem to win by some miracles, their opponents fall down in front of them and then they have a blessed run,  those who seem to win by sheer effort, the lucky, the talented, the hard workers.   Guts, instincts, skills.

I know my biggest failing is guts.  When I get into the tough situation I think I wish I weren’t going to have to go on compete.  Its easier to watch and write about it (or just ignore it).  Its hard to force yourself to go and complete anyway.  Its interesting to hear a skating pair say the same thing.  Its fun when its over.

Perhaps the best moment of the Olympics was KD Lang singing Hallelujah.  My daughter Jennifer who was at a rehearsal the day before told me that K.D. Lang was the only singer who wasn’t lip syncing at the event.  She was wonderful.

It ends like this… this is for all of us who had the courage to compete and lost something important by the slimmest of margins.

I did my best, it wasn’t much

I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you

And even though

It all went wrong

I’ll stand before the Lord of Song

With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah



Bobby WolffFebruary 15th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

I love winners when they cry, I love losers when they try.

Life is about both. Bob Hamman said it best “Losing is worse than dying, if only because it is likely that one will have to do it again. Wimbledon advises to “deal with victory and defeat and treat those two imposters just the same”. Grantland Rice volunteers that neither winning nor losing is as important as how we play the game. Vince Lombardi contradicts by declaring “Winning isn’t everything it is the only thing”. Rudyard Kipling speaks about risking all worldly treasures with one throw of the dice, lose, but then immediately start to build back.

All of the philosophers above agree that the only thing worth doing is “Never, Never give up, Never, Never, Never give up (words and music by Jimmy Valvano, well known (in the USA) basketball coach of North Carolina St. as he was dying from cancer at much too young an age.

They are all very unlikely to be wrong!!!!!!

Paul GipsonFebruary 15th, 2010 at 11:31 pm

“Perhaps the best moment of the Olynpics was KD Lang singing Hallelujah. ”

Why on earth wasn’t Leonard singing it????

Dave Memphis MOJOFebruary 16th, 2010 at 4:12 am

I’m glad the Olympics are in Canada so the world can see what a wonderful country you live in.

Larry LowellFebruary 16th, 2010 at 4:15 am

Well, Lombardi really said “The will to win is everything.”

Linda LeeFebruary 16th, 2010 at 4:49 am

I agree about the will to win. I was watching a movie today called Damn United which was about Bryan Clough who was the manager of British soccer teams and achieved incredible success (the British Lombardi). He would do anything to win and win he did.

It would have been cool to see Leonard Cohen singing but KD Lang did a wonderful version too.

I hate losing but oddly enough I don’t love winning. Is that weird or what? So I suppose I am with Rudyard Kipling about treating those two imposters just the same.

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