I have been wondering why the Olympics compel me to listen / watch at nearly every opportunity, regardless of nationality being shown at the time.

Is there an element of national pride? Yes, I will focus on Canadians whenever possible.

Would I still watch if there were NO Canadians?  Absolutely.   This is where it gets interesting.

The fact that the Olympics dominates the TV spectrum is noticeable, but not a factor.  I’m not fanatical about sports – aside from occasionally watching the Ottawa Senators play hockey (they are my team, after all) I hardy watch sport at all.  So why the Olympics?  Perhaps it’s because it’s a gathering of the best in the world, joined in the spirit of healthy competition.  But that doesn’t capture the whole story for me.

For me, the Olympics represents people from all over the world who have spent years and even decades at becoming the best that they can be.  They have faced numerous challenges, have sacrificed much for their sport, have likely injured themselves repeatedly and yet still come back.  They come together every four years (or more frequently if you are incredibly talented in multiple sports like Clara Hughes), they perform at their very best (sometimes only for seconds), and then everyone celebrates the achievements.  Artificial borders come down as evidenced by seeing Canada’s cross-country ski coach Justin Wadsworth running down the snowbanks to give Russian skier Anton Gafarov a spare ski so he could finish the race in front of Anton’s home crowd.  The Olympics are a celebration of sport, but more importantly are a celebration of humanity and the potential of humankind.

Voices of Canadian Leadership was born through my interest in leadership.  In so many ways these athletes embody qualities such as passion, vision, and dedication – these are the qualities that I admire most in leaders.  The Olympics provides many examples of leadership qualities in a short period of time – that is why I am compelled to watch.

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