Hammertime: Getting ready for the Olympics – Go Canada!

This week’s Hammertime celebrates Canada’s athletes taking the 2018 Olympics

Mike Rainone


It was quite a surprise but I was able to tick another notch off my busy ‘bucket list’ in December when my daughter and son-in-law treated me to a great hockey game between the Red Deer Optimist AAA Midget Chiefs and our Canadian Olympic ladies hockey team at the Enmax Centrium in Westerner Park…the home of the Canadian Finals Rodeo for the next 10 years.

It was a very fast and well played contest in front of a very appreciative crowd, and the young Red Deer team went stride for stride with the talented and rambunctious Canadian Ladies team, who are certainly pumped and ready to go after another Olympic hockey medal to their impressive record, which includes four gold and one silver. What also impressed me about this game was the boisterous and flashy presence of so many young ladies hockey teams from Red Deer, central Alberta, and beyond, all dressed in their uniforms and gathering around the visitors bench to get a glimpse of the Canadian ladies national team, and maybe even a high-five or a cherished autograph.

‘The legend’ Haley Wickenheiser is no longer with the Canadian ladies team, with whom she enjoyed a magnificent career that included 216 games, 146 goals and 318 points. It has always been that tremendous effort, spirit, dedication and legacy that she and countless other former players brought to this team over the years that will carry every time they proudly pull on the Canadian sweaters and hit the ice at home and around the world. Like each and every one of our skilled Olympic athletes these talented young ladies represent every province and all walks of life from across our nation, they range in age from 19 to 34 years of age, and are made up of a ‘flashy and feisty’ bunch of University students, wives, working moms and gritty individuals who love to come together as a team and play some hockey for Canada.

We get 900 hours of Olympic coverage

For those of us who are total sports fanatics we may just go into total ‘couch seclusion’ from Feb. 9th to 25th when the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games take place in Pyeongchang, Korea with 2,781 athletes from 88 nations competing in over 100 events involving 15 thrilling cold weather sports. Our 222 member Canadian team has already been predicted to win 33 medals in adrenalin pumping head-to-head and team-to-team competition with the finest athletes in the world, and they are claiming that over those hectic 16 days of competition we will be able to catch over 900 hours (24-hours a day) from where-ever we may be. All of this amazing action and pomp and pageantry will come from various sources including television, radio, streaming, and all the rest courtesy of CBC, Bell Media, Rogers Media, TLN, and others in many different languages, styles, opinions, and glitzy expensive commercials.

There is no doubt that so many millions of sports fans and families will be watching and cheering for their athletes around the world in these games, complete with the always fabulous and amazing opening and closing ceremonies, and the fact that the lead up to this classic event will feature 7,500 torch bearers proudly representing the 75 million people living in the host country of Korea. I know that along with just about everyone else the seniors in our condo building (especially the curling fanatics) will go into hiding during all the Olympic action, never missing a shot and only coming out between draws to pick up the mail and get some groceries. One thing about it whatever we watch and who-ever we cheer for during these games we can all still stay in shape by pushing the record button and then dashing outside for a breath of fresh air and a little exercise and visiting? Whatever the case, lets cheer hard, and have fun.

All people should be blessed in life with friends who are both like mirrors and shadows. Mirrors don’t lie and shadows never leave. Please remember that ‘All that is really worth doing is what we do for others,’ and then have a great week, all of you.

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