Mention these whiners to the 23,000 volunteers, 30 of whom came from the North West Territories to lend a hand, and they wonder what you’re talking about.
Ever sit in a stand yelling at the top of your lungs as your countrymen/women paddle their hearts out trying to win? As the finish line approaches so increases a thunderous roar from the maddening crowd. Why isn’t our boat moving faster? Disciplined, the competitors paddle rhythmically, rapidly. Barely breaking water, blades dig in. Up. Skim. Down. Up. Skim. Down. Repeat. Streamlined bodies strain. With a mighty last pull....Canada crosses first! Fans explode in wild screams and cheers while competitors sag momentarily after the race in their sleek vessels before making a quick recovery.
We witnessed five sculling medal events at Port Dalhousie near St. Catharines, Ontario. To our delight we experienced the thrill of our athletes winning three of those races and watched the emotional medal presentations while proudly singing O Canada.
Just as satisfying is the spontaneous way the crowd cheers other countries, other winners, and our athletes who didn’t place. Participants, in the spirit of true sports professionals, congratulate each other and their competitors.
And finally, for some interesting reading, click on this link to learn all about the official PanAm games mascot, Pachi: http://www.toronto2015.org/mascot