Canadian Seasons have been described as: Six months of winter, and six months of poor sledding. These two blocks of time can be further broken down into: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction season. On the calendar, this would read as Winter, June, July, August, Winter.
Winter here is not like the one that people in other countries use as an excuse to wear cute sweaters, light jackets and fashion boots. No, a Canadian winter can be a fierce thing that will kill you if you don’t treat it with respect. On the coldest days, citizens who brave the outdoors look much like a padded, rounded snowman.
While so many of you are blogging about the joys of spring, many of us here in Canada are still digging out from another day of snow. You can understand then, why many of us think Global Warming is a good thing. We also don’t mind sending some of our wintery weather south in cooling blasts called Blue Northers or Alberta Clippers.
Even our sports reflect our climate. All the most popular ones involve Ice. Many children are introduced to skating at a young age, with boys normally gravitating to hockey, and girls to figure skating (though there are plenty of excellent female hockey players and male figure skaters.) At the professional level, Hockey is our biggest sport. 54% of the players in the National Hockey League (which has teams in both Canada and the United States) were born in Canada. With the highest paid players in the league earning salaries of $10 million a year, and the lowest salary a cool $500,000, it is no wonder that little boys dream of being one of the 720 hockey players in the league. Personally, I don’t like the direction hockey has gone. I think the salaries are obscene and the violence is abhorrent. The Sidney Crosby concussion tells the story of much of what is wrong with hockey.
Another popular sport is Curling. No violence, no big salaries, no over the top media hype, it is a game that many people just do not understand. And no wonder. It is Chess on ice. Though it is a game played by people of all ages and abilities, it is not an easy game to play well. Here are Canada’s best Top Ten shots from the Roar of the Rings in 2009.
Curling is also a game where even the smallest Canadian towns and cities can boast a world class team. Team Holland was a Saskatchewan Women’s Team that curled out of the small town of Kronau, a place of 200 people!
There is also the ice that causes so many car accidents each winter. Watch this video, which does an excellent job of both documenting a string of vehicle accidents in Montreal, and explaining some of the finer points of curling.
Ice – I’ve skated on it, I’ve curled on it, and, during our brief summer season, I keep my beverages cool with it! What a remarkable product!