Column: Canadian women's 8: an all-Canadian Olympic moment
- Last Updated: Tuesday, 03 August 2021 13:54
August 4, 2021
-by Frank Macdonald
It was fairly early in our Canadian morning and I was scanning a newspaper while on-television Olympic commentators were assessing the medal chances of Canada’s eight-women rowing team. It wasn’t a sport I knew much about. In fact, until that broadcast I didn’t even know we had a rowing team that large, a team that hadn’t won a gold medal since 1992.
As the 2000-metre race started, I glanced up from the box scores to see that the Canadians had taken the early lead, probably not the best strategy on a waterway that featured the world’s five other best rowing teams. My nose dropped back to the page and when I checked again, it was the halfway point and the Canadians were still leading; no sign of them beginning to flag. The paper slid off my lap as I began to think the improbable. In a race of that length, going wire to wire was highly unlikely.
By this time, I had paddled half way down the couch, and with a 150 metres to go, I was on my feet, nose radiation-close to the screen, screaming for this, my favourite Olympic team. Across the finish line, it was the Canadians by a fairly long nose.
Still aboard their craft, the rowers celebrated in a state of euphoric exhaustion very few humans on this planet will ever experience. But most of us will happily settle for the vicarious version.