Living Abroad: Olympic Confusion

I know it’s been a while. Things have been hectic and my thought processes on writing have been all over the place as additional work has come my way. It’s been hard to sit down and focus on my own writing when I have too much going on in other parts of my life. Perhaps I should work on finding a better sense of balance but until then, all I can say is I haven’t left, I’m just quieter than I was before!

So here we are smack dab in the middle of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. I was offered a position to travel to these olympic games but had to back out for many reasons. I will forever keep that feeling I had when I was selected and received the offer out of a pool of 100K+ applicants!! Those moments don’t leave us easily 😉

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As a huge sports fan, particularly of winter sports, I love the Olympics. I love having time dedicated to watch the elite of the world push themselves harder and faster than ever before. Sports are a huge part of my life and the Olympics warms my heart!  However, there is one increasingly difficult situation that continues to face my little international family as each Olympic games passes us by: who do we cheer for????

In our early years abroad, it was clear to Mr H and I whom we supported as our national identities were solid. He was staunchly British and I was Canadian. Yes, my mum and dad also have other passports, but I was Canadian through and through. But over the past decade and a half, we’ve changed. We have foreign-born children who don’t necessarily identify with OUR countries and cultures and we respect and understand that. We have spent more time outside of our home countries as adults than we ever did IN them. We have chosen to put down roots in Switzerland where we feel at home and part of Swiss culture. We are, to put it very mildly, confused.

Most days, we can avoid this. When the Olympics pops up, we come face to face with this very question: which country has our hearts the most?

Personally, in winter sports, Canada is currently still my number one but what I’m also learning is that I’m extremely happy when Switzerland wins, as well.  The recent mixed curling final that saw Canada come face to face against Switzerland was bittersweet for me. I felt joyous that Canada won and gutted that Switzerland lost. At the Opening Ceremonies, I cheered for the arrival of Canada, Switzerland and Malta. My husband cheered for the arrival of Great Britain and Switzerland. Does this mean we finally have a common country to cheer for?!?!

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Our children cheer for Canada and Switzerland. They cheered for France once when there weren’t Canadians involved in an event at Sochi 2014. They happily congratulate their Papa when Team GB does well but they don’t feel connected to it (although watching Elise Christie baff it today was gutting for everyone). Whilst I cannot seem to cheer for the USA (sorry, Dad!!) I do throw some serious weight behind how much I want Lindsey Vonn to triumph!!

Maybe someday we will all have the same team to cheer for as we all seem to be gravitating towards the Swiss. Unless it is hockey. Hockey will always be a Canadian sport to me and my heart 😉

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Happy Olympics-watching, everyone!! From the Hart family to yours, we hope all your teams do well…we just hope some do better than others – ha!

 

Photo credits: Jennifer Hart and unknown (hockey image – happy for a credit to be attributed here)

 

Lausanne 2020 – Youth Olympic Games

We are so excited that the Youth Olympic Games 2020 will be happening in our neighbourhood!  Children are the future of sports and athletics. Some of them will  continue on to become the best in the world but many will take their experiences and grow to become informed sports scientists, doctors, engineers, etc.

Will you be here in 2020 to help cheer on the future of sports?

My own children are hoping to be part of the host nation ski team. Cross your fingers for them!!!

 

Photo and video credit: Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games