Holy cow, I wrote a book!
Living so close to the United States-Canada border means
that there's a lot of friendly teasing of the many Canadians
in our midst.
It's a good thing Canadians as a whole seem to have a pretty
good sense of humor about it.
(Well, except the Quebecers. Those humorless grumps.)
The final stage of the modern pentathlon is supposed to be
a cross-country course,
run through grassy fields, with occasional obstacles
like a brook that needs to be hurdled.
At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing,
however, the course didn't so much resemble a cross-country run as it
did waiting in line at Disneyland.
Instead of traversing an outdoor course,
the runners ran through a labyrinth constructed on
the outer track of the athletic field,
navigating dozens of switchbacks that converted the 1000-meter track
into a test of how well you can make sharp turns.
I remember being completely flabbergasted when I saw the course.
It was a total disaster.
Which is why I was amused at the response from Monica Pinette,
a Canadian athlete who participated in the competition.
Summing up her displeasure, she said,
"I'm pretty angry. I'm going to write a nasty letter."
That just struck me as a quintessentially Canadian way of
expressing extreme dissatisfaction.
Today marks the opening of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
Best wishes to all the Canadians out there.
Even if I still tease you every so often.