Vladimir Putin posed as a protector of children, while making gay youth outcasts in their own country. The IOC posed as an organisation above politics, while unabashedly bending national politics to its commercial interests. Barack Obama posed as a defender of human rights by grappling with foreign governments, while he shied from the fight in domestic politics.
At a time when it seems we're paying less attention than ever to political news, it's even more crucial for politicians to identify with voters on another level. Be honest -- how many of you watched either the federal budget speech or the B.C. throne speech online? How many of you, by contrast -- have been sneaking peaks at the live-streamed Olympics from your desk?
Next to true sportsmanship, my other passion is people watching on the ski hills. Trends have changed since the 90's when bright neon prints were seen everywhere on the mountains. Then, in the new millennium the clothes became oversized and hanging off of skiers and snowboarders alike. Now the clothes are more refined and dare I say even chic.
How nice was it to watch an outdoor game in Los Angeles, to not have to care about all those recycled, overdone storylines about "pond hockey" and "childhood memories"? Those teams and their markets may not be perfect and they may not live up to the pretentious ideal us frigid northerners try to hold ourselves to, but they're a part of our game. And they're doing it better than us.
Last night, tennis fans sat riveted in front of their TV screens, watching 19-year-old Canadian, Eugenie Bouchard, beat former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic and triumphantly reach the semifinals of the Australian Open. And after that exhilarating and shocking victory, what did the on-court interviewer ask this dedicated and amazing athlete? Who's the man of your dreams, Eugenie? Who are you crushing on, girl? Because, being a woman, what else could she possibly be interested in? Entrenched sexism needs to be pointed out, ridiculed, and eradicated.
It's that time of year again, when critics, reviewers, amateur enthusiasts of all things aural pull tiny muscles in their large heads compiling and posting for public consumption their lists of Top Albums of the Year. A female friend once pointed out that these oftentimes inane lists are (strangely, suspiciously) almost always the domain of men. We demand demarcation. We want to know. We need to know.
It is perhaps time to consider public health discourse on whether or not any putative benefits from participation in organized sports are largely cancelled out by the ensuing time pressure that not only seriously cuts into time for healthy eating but also sleep and other activities that should be part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
In a top NHL hockey market, there is nothing a Vancouver Canucks player or coach does on or off the ice that goes unnoticed by the city's sports media. During the recent off-season, Vancouver headlines focused on the new "man in charge", coach John Tortorella, a man known for his impatient and often volatile relationship with sports media. From screaming and swearing at reporters to his aggressive approach in post game media scrums, Tortorella has earned a reputation with those in the press box. So how has the NHL coach handled the tenacious Vancouver sports media so far?
When I was a teenager, I golfed. Once. It did not end well. Or start well for that matter. Suffice to say, my game failed to ascend to the dizzy heights of my expectations. Fast forward a century or so, to about 13 years ago when I took up golf once again, and I've discovered something amazing: how to have fun while golfing. Gather around and I'll share my secrets.
I want to change sport in this country to make it more accessible to our kids. I see too many Canadian kids not able to participate in sport; not afforded the chance to be a part of a team, be active or learn new skills. One of the biggest barriers is due to the rising costs of participating in sport.
The trend towards kids having rigorous schedules is a relatively new phenomenon. Perhaps a result of the pervasive guilt that so many of us share because of our need to work longer hours, we've put our kids in as many lessons as possible, some for practical reasons (after-school lessons and sports practice keeps our kids busy until we can leave work and pick them up) and some...well...not so much.
If we want our own children to learn to be courageous defenders of rights, we must first engage them in thinking critically about those rights. While adults may feel uncomfortable talking to children about the place of religion in society, we can still teach our children that people whose beliefs and practices differ from their own are deserving of respect and understanding.