Tennis Elbow: Go Canada!
February 10, 2014 · Print This Article
So it’s this time of the year—well, this time of every other two years, when nations come together to celebrate the best of sports, athleticism, athletics and competition. It’s time for the Olympics, this time the one of the winter kind in Sochi, Russia.
And if it’s time for the Olympics, it means it’s also time for patriotism. It’s time for you to wear your CANADA toque, or sweater, or sox though no one will see them, and scream at your TV when young Mark McMorris nails his second run in the slopestyle final. It’s time to get your Canada flag and wave it proudly, especially when two-thirds—19-year-old Justine and 22-year-old Chloé—of the Dufour-Lapointe sisters capture the gold and silver medals of the freestyle skiing women’s moguls.
So here’s my rally cry—Go Canada! Go Québec! Just GO! Original, I know… We wake up today, and my beloved country has four medals. And, well, sure this isn’t tennis exactly (okay, precisely isn’t!), and the United States has four medals as well anyway, so let’s move on.
So yeah, patriotism… Somehow, this relates to tennis, I just ask that you stay with me a little while longer.
Whereas the international community focuses on patriotism every two years between the Winter and Summer Olympics, the tennis world does so every single year at this time. The Australian Open has just concluded, and the tennis hemisphere fills the void with international team tennis—this year, there was the first round of both the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup in back-to-back weekends in late January and early February.
These competitions are where the tennis fans, who perhaps aren’t that interested in flying abroad, to Sochi or elsewhere, can show their patriotism.
It just so happens that Canada played host to Serbia in my native Montreal this weekend and won the tie 3-1. Eugenie Bouchard and Aleksandra Wozniak, two fellow Québécois, assured the tie when they capture three wins in as many matches to start the weekend.
Look, I’m proud of this. There are definitely plenty of sides that come with identifying yourself as a Québécois in Canada in 2014—I don’t even really believe in separatism nor do I want the province to secede from Canada. I’m a Québécois living in Toronto, is all—that should tell it all. To me, it’s akin to Ontarians being proud of Ontarians when they compete and success. I love my country, definitely. But an essential part of that country is the fact that inside that country is my province.
In other words, I’m happy when Mark McMorris wins Canada’s first medal at the 2014 Sochi Games, but I’m especially happy when young Justine wins Canada’s first gold medal of the Games. Because when Dufour-Lapointe, and her sister Chloé who wins silver, and her other sister Maxime who finishes 12th, and Audrey Robichaud who finishes 10th, all succeed in making the women’s moguls finals at the 2014 Sochi Games, then it’s all of Canada who wins—but in my eyes, especially Québec.
On the men’s side in tennis at the Davis Cup, the team that came oh so close of going all the way last season lost to Japan 4-1 a week ago. It was no surprise, as Milos Raonic wasn’t available, and head coach Martin Laurendeau had to rely on a little bit of Vasek Pospisil, Daniel Nestor and Peter Polansky, but mostly a whole lot of Frank Dancevic.
Would that tie have unfolded differently had the Canadian team relied on Québécois players? No, that’s stupid and silly logic. I’m just happy to see Québécois do well at their sport if and when that happens—and in men’s tennis, there is no player from my province ranked in the ATP World Tour Top 200. The tie against Japan would have been just the same with players from Québec.
Go Canada! Go Québec, too, but that means the same thing.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG