So Melodie asked me in the comments section of the last post what I think of the minor controversy over the "behaviour" of the Canadian Women's Hockey team after winning the gold medal. An hour or so after the game was over, and after all the fans were cleared from the arena, the team decided to take their celebration back out on the ice, drinking beer and champagne and smoking a few cigars. Pictures were taken and circulated of them celebrating, including Marie-Philip Poulin, who is a 18, shown with a can of beer in her hands. This has, bizarrely, upset some people and the apologies have been flying fast and furious.
I have absolutely no idea why. The level of hypocrisy surrounding this story kind of floors my brain. If the men's hockey team does this on Sunday, nobody will say boo about it. Jon Montgomery produced what is one of my favourite moments of this Olympics so far, and Stephen Brunt agrees with me when after winning the gold medal in Skeleton he walked around drinking a pitcher of beer that someone had gave him. I laughed when I saw that. I don't really drink, but by God if I had just won and Olympic gold medal and someone handed me a pitcher of beer, I would drink it with joy.
For God's sake, they've just won an Olympic Gold Medal. Let them live. Let them celebrate. They've just accomplished something remarkable. They are living the first line of their obituary. And the last time I checked, they weren't skating around in a nun's habit with the Canadian flag pasted on it. "Oh my God, women are drinking and smoking! Horrors!" I know women who could drink men twice their size under the table. They among my best friends and some of the coolest people I know.
Give me a break. They're human. Do I care if they drink in the middle of a mostly empty hockey arena? I do not. Should anyone care if they do? They should not. And as for Poulin, she's legal to drink in Quebec where she lives, and in Alberta where she trains. So in her preparations to win a gold medal, and in her excitement over winning one, she forgot to check the drinking age in BC. And people are making a big deal of that. Wow.
Also, and I'm curious to see this. If you never had a drink before you reached the legal drinking age, post here. I don't expect I'm going to get many responses.
Will anyone, anywhere, care about this in a week's time or remember it in a few months time? They absolutely should not. And anyone who thinks that this diminishes them as role models is insane. If anything, this makes them better ones. Because not only did they work hard and accomplish something remarkable, they remembered to enjoy it and celebrate it, which is just as important. Should they have done it in the locker room instead of out in the arena? Who care. Nobody was supposed to be there. They didn't do it in front of thousands of fans. They didn't strip naked and run around the arena.
They celebrated. The day we have a problem with our athletes celebrating something remarkable after years of pains, sweat and sacrifice with something so simply as a beer and a cigar, then, I don't know. Perhaps removing the collective sticks from our asses might be a start.
1. The mistress - Amelia Curran
2. The fly - U2
3. Bad kids - Black Lips
4. I can't be wrong - Sean Panting
5. Beautiful one - Sean Panting*