The Olympics brings out the heart in us all

The Olympics bring out the every-four-years sports fan in a lot of us

There’s plenty going on in the Cowichan Valley this summer, but a lot of residents have their eyes glued on Rio, Brazil this week and next.

The Olympics bring out the every-four-years sports fan in a lot of us, with folks hitherto oblivious to the state of women’s rugby sevens following with bated breath as Canada’s team goes for a medal. (The team took the bronze medal Monday in an exciting game against Great Britian.)

This year, there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the games before they even opened on the weekend.

From the state of polluted water venues to athlete accommodations lacking basic finishes as teams arrived, to safety in a city and a country where people have been struggling with crime, poverty and the Zika virus in recent years, there was a lot of speculation that 2016’s summer games would be a disappointing affair.

So far, these complaints have been mere background as the athletes have taken centre stage (as they should), their exploits dominating the spotlight.

But still front and centre in a few instances has been the Russian doping scandal.

Russian athletes faced a possible blanket ban from Rio 2016 just weeks before the games opened, with a scathing report delivered to the International Olympic Committee detailing elaborate cheating in Sochi.

But the IOC, in what could be seen as a rather cowardly abdication of responsibility, left it up to the individual sport federations to determine if Russian athletes would be allowed to compete in Rio.

Thus far, notably, Yulia Efimova was booed by the crowd in her 100-metre breaststroke heat.

There was also booing as the Russian men’s 4×100-metre freestyle relay swimmers were announced.

Russians aren’t the only ones to ever be caught doping, of course. But the revelation that there was actual state sponsorship of cheating in Sochi is shocking.

So why continue to watch?

In the Citizen newsroom everyone has their Olympic year favourites, from beach volleyball to the sports we rarely see like handball and water polo. Diving, rowing and pole vault all have a place in our Olympic hearts.

That’s why we watch — when our Canadian athletes step up to compete in their disciplines, the culmination of a lifetime of work, we stand up there with them, proudly cheering for the maple leaf.

Their achievement overcomes any disappointment over scandal.

Just Posted

The province has come through with funding for Duncan Manor’s renewal project. (File photo)
Funding comes through for Duncan Manor’s renewal project

Money will come from the province’s Community Housing Fund

The former St. Joseph’s School site will remain an art studio at least into early next year. It will take some time before being converted to an addictions recovery community. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Addiction recovery facility will be all about building community together

Society on a clear path with members’ experiences to provide valuable help

Seniors in the Cowichan Valley are being moved into the new Hamlets. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
New Hamlets in Duncan admitting seniors

Residential-care facility has 88 beds

Police monitor protesters at a blockade in the Fairy Creek area of southwestern Vancouver Island on Wednesday, June 9. (Facebook photo)
Arrests continue to mount at Fairy Creek as protesters complain about RCMP tactics

Number of arrests approach 200 in ongoing southern Vancouver Island logging protest

How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read