The Winter Olympics, as viewed by a Morristown guy from Winnipeg

Editor’s note: Earlier this week, Morristown Pastor Neill explained the sacred mysteries of Olympic curling.  Here is the Canada native’s perspective on the rest of the Sochi Games. He submitted this BEFORE his countrymen dispatched the US men’s and women’s hockey teams.


By the Rev. Neill Tolboom

Pastor Neill Tolboom demonstrates his sweeping technique, perfected during his curling days in Winnipeg. Photo by Leslie Raff

Pastor Neill Tolboom demonstrates his curling technique, perfected in Winnipeg. Photo by Leslie Raff

To the average Western Canadian there are only four real Winter Olympic sports: Hockey men’s, Hockey women’s, Curling men’s, Curling women’s.

Winning medals in these sports is a patriotic imperative. The other sports are delightful divergent activities while waiting for the real sports to begin.

Unlike most other Olympic sports, the color of the medal secured is also of paramount importance.

For instance, winning…

  • Four gold medals: The universe is realigned and all is well for four more years.
  • Three gold medals: Not bad, Canadians are generally quick to forgive.
  • Two gold medals: Acceptable.
  • One gold medal: OK, but just barely OK.
  • No gold medals, but one to four silver medals: Only barely acceptable, if we did not lose to the US or Russia.
  • All bronze medals: Not acceptable. All Canadians must work like Americans for one weekend by coming into the office one Saturday.
  • Two bronze medals: A national day of mourning is declared throughout Canada where all residents must refrain from drinking beer for 24 hours.
  • One bronze medal: All residents must wear a black toque of shame for the first week in March.
  • No medals at all: The government must dissolve and a federal election must be called as quickly as possible.

Winter Olympics: We Western Canadians take this stuff seriously.

Neill Tolboom is pastor of the Morristown United Methodist Church. If he is a little late for Sunday’s sermon, it probably means he is kneeling in front of a television, praying for an overtime victory in Canada’s gold medal hockey showdown with Sweden.

The Canadian women's hockey team on the gold medal podium...again.

The Canadian women’s hockey team on the gold medal podium…again.

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