18

Sport as metaphor


 

Stephen Harper talks to Sports IllustratedHockey is a fast, aggressive, tough sport and that’s an important part of the Canadian psychology and history. It’s sometimes forgotten because Canadians are thought of as peace-loving and fair-minded and pleasant — which I think we are — but that’s not inconsistent with tough and aggressive and ambitious, which is also part of the national character.

Michael Ignatieff writes for the New York TimesIf you’re not trying to demonstrate raw power or announce your arrival on the global stage, however, hosting the Games presents a challenge. We Canadians are immensely proud of our country, but we try to be soft-spoken about it, so we aren’t looking for the Vancouver Games to be a grandiose exercise in self-promotion. Instead, we want to demonstrate that we’re a people the world can count on.


 

Sport as metaphor

  1. " but we try to be soft-spoken about it, so we aren't looking for the Vancouver Games to be a grandiose exercise in self-promotion. Instead, we want to demonstrate that we're a people the world can count on."

    By George, I think he gets it!! re: afstan!!! It's not about us, it's about our friends and allies, and our duty.

  2. I am sure Liberals are relieved Iggy remembered to write we Canadians this time and not we Americans.

    SI v NY Times – oftentimes stereotypes are accurate.

  3. peace-loving and fair-minded and pleasant — which I think we are

    I think the guy is living in an alternative universe.

    • Well, he said "we" were pleasant in a general sense about Canadians. He wasn't talking about you, Anon001.

      • I doubt he was talking about himself, either. Harper would be the Mad Dog Kelly of politics. No hall-of-fame berth for him, either. But come to think of it, I think Kelly relied a lot on Nicolae Ceausescu for his speeches…

  4. "Hockey is a fast, aggressive, tough sport and that's an important part of the Canadian psychology and history."

    Well, sure, if you don't count the part about it taking over 100 years for us to BRING OUR CONSTITUTION TO OTTAWA.

    "Canadians are immensely proud of our country, but we try to be soft-spoken about it, so we aren't looking for the Vancouver Games to be a grandiose exercise in self-promotion"

    Sure we are. You think Canadians are going to flock to Vancouver for the games to hold up a 5×7 flag and peep timidly "gee I hope Canada gives it their all"?

  5. Ignatieff makes hosting the Olympics sound like another worthwhile Canadian initiative: "We're proud that we brought in the Games on time and on budget." Yes, we speak of little else these days…

  6. Come On Iggy! you can do much better than that … tsk .. tsk ..

    • Actually Iggy's article in the NY Times reads pretty well, and it's generally good Canadian boosterism. Harper, on the other hand was interviewed (although to be fair, it's a not-unpleasant rumination on the meaning of hockey in Canada). Maybe Steve was too busy working on his hockey book to write an article like Iggy.

      • Yah, but at least Steve lived in Canada when we won the Olympic bid.

        • … only because Fox News wasn't about to give any airtime to some underqualified and unemployed economist.

  7. Iggy: we aren't looking for the Vancouver Games to be a grandiose exercise in self-promotion.

    I fully expect our Conservative Government to fall over themselves in a contest of self-promotion during the Olympics. Its just what they do!

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/olym

  8. "…but that's not inconsistent with tough and aggressive and ambitious, which is also part of the national character."

    I'd like to think he's right…I certainly think this statement used to be correct about 100 years ago…but I have my doubts at the moment. How does "tough and aggressive and ambitious" reconcile with "nanny state"?

    And anyway, I hear a lot of people hoping that the mens' hockey team will "medal". For crying out loud, it's hockey! Come back with the gold, boys, or come back on stretchers. (to paraphrase the Spartan mom described by Herodotus)

  9. July 2003, the year Canada won the bid for the 2010 winter Olympics…..

    What 'we' is he talking about,
    Iffy didn't live in Canada in 2003.

    • You are right. Harper's main claim to fame was his plagarized speech on how Canada should be committing Canadian soldiers to an illegal war — and I don't think he's corrected his opinion on that, either in a letter to the Wall St Journal or a coffee clatch with Brit Hume.

  10. Both are enjoyable reads and hats off to both.

    I think sport presents ideals politicians can identify with –

    Baseball isn't just the stats. As much as anything else, baseball is the style of Willie Mays, or the determination of Hank Aaron, or the endurance of a Mickey Mantle, the discipline of Carl Yastrzemski, the drive of Eddie Mathews, the reliability of a Kaline or a Morgan, the grace of a DiMaggio, the kindness of a Harmon Killebrew, and the class of Stan Musial, the courage of a Jackie Robinson, or the heroism of Lou Gehrig. My hope for the game is that these qualities will never be lost." George W. Bush

    It's just that the ideals they admire in sport are lost in the pursuit of democratic victory

  11. so we aren't looking for the Vancouver Games to be a grandiose exercise in self-promotion.

    Does anybody have the heart to slip Mr. Ignatieff the "Own the Podium" memo?

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