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 March 2010 - Nr. 3
Happy Easter - Frohe Ostern
The edior: Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

Dear Reader

February is a month for dreaming, as our front page might indicate to you: I certainly am dreaming of Easter, of spring and apple blossoms. The rest of the country dreamed of gold, the Olympic kind, and I got caught up in it too. Our Vancouver/Whistler Winter Olympics was a highlight not just for those cities and the athletes of the world; it was also an important event for our country.

At the beginning of the Olympic coverage the hype about our athletes and how they have to fulfill the nation’s expectations was over the top, so much so, that I felt there was undue pressure put onto the athletes, and it probably was because they did not do as well as expected by the majority and themselves. I thought that they are the best we have and that they did not go to Vancouver to lose, that they were there because they wanted to win and do their best. They did not need prompting and reminding every two minutes by an overzealous media machine.

Half way through, when it became clear that even under the best of circumstances Canada could not win as many medals as was predicted as possible, only then when it was physically impossible, only then the media stopped pressuring the athletes, and VOILA, the medals stated to pop up. The coverage was less controversial and became more supportive, despite problems attached to the games. They were all handled properly and in the end we could take a bow for the best Winter Olympics ever.

I watched largely the official carrier of the games, CTV, and enjoyed it for the most part, but there was one team of young reporters we could have done without. They found things to make fun of and only succeeded in looking silly and in bad taste themselves, especially when they emulated the faces of skaters in their most grueling moments. I have to say it: making fun of people like that is not funny. It is not only in bad taste, it also hurtful to the athletes and shows lack of substance on the part of the reporters.

I found Donald Sutherland’s story of the Cherokee Elder a fitting analogy: He speaks of two wolfs living inside of him. One is mean and hateful and nasty and the other is loving, compassionate, kind and forgiving. A youngster asks: “Which one is winning?” The answer is: “The one we feed!”

I have never spent so much time glued to the TV as in those 17 days, but on the last day, on the day of the all important hockey game, we had to go to review an opera in the afternoon. When we drove home via downtown, not knowing how the game went, we suddenly became aware of a buzz in the universe - that is what we called it. I cannot describe it any other way. We felt it physically and wondered what it was, this vibration all around us. And then it came to me: We must have won the gold medal in the game against the USA. Only at home did we find out that it was true. The sensations occurred as we were close to Dundas and Yonge Street in Toronto, where thousands of people had congregated. We were driving home on Jarvis Street. Imagine the energies all over the country set free by this event! What a climax!

The evening was spent watching highlights and then the closing ceremony. Like the opening it was spectacular and a fitting ending to these wonderful Olympic Winter Games that could get the entire country so excited and united.

And while we congratulate all athletes of the world to their achievements, we are especially happy about the record braking Gold Medal success of our Canadian athletes and of British Columbia and all the people involved in the creation of this marvel of organization that welcomed the world. I fully understand why Canadians are filled with pride just now more than ever before. Whoever said that we have no identity? That was when? It certainly is not now!

Let us hope that these feelings of harmony and pride last and last. In the meantime, we can dream of spring.

Happy Easter!

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

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As the editor of Echo Germanica Sybille reflects on cultural, artistic, political and daily events within the German-Canadian landscape.

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