Long ‘May’ you run, Canada

Don’t take that extra beer for granted this weekend. It matters to Canada.

It matters that you join your neighbours, your community and your country in celebration of
Queen Victoria on her birthday. After all, she’s the woman who started Canada on its road to independence, giving four British provinces to North America … giving the first stich in our Canadian flag.

Jesse Lumsden

“There’s only one reason that we do what we do,” said world silver medallist and 2010 Olympic bobsledder Jesse Lumsden. “To see the Maple Leaf rise above all the other flags, to hear the national anthem. It’s the ultimate reward in amateur sport. You can’t explain that feeling, but the emotion gets you every time. It doesn’t change. I feel like I’ve been lifted up by Canada.”

Lifted, indeed.

The Maple Leaf is stamped in every Canadian passport. It’s what Canadians root for, it’s what athletes tattoo on their flesh, it’s the emblam that lifts this nation to moments of greatness.

Christine Nesbitt

“My mom sent me three Maple Leaves in the mail this fall,” said three-time world champion and Olympic champion Christine Nesbitt just before the May long weekend. “It’s such a special thing to feel connected to this country — this amazingly diverse country.”

Nesbitt’s peer on ice and fellow member of the multiple-time world champion club Patrick Chan knows this feeling intimately and wears it on his sleeve with ultimate pride.

“I’m a first generation Chinese Canadian,” said Chan. “My parents came to this country for a better life, for better opportunities for myself, for their son … That’s why I wear the Maple Leaf proudly every single day. I’m so proud to see the flag rise and to hear the anthem. It’s a moment of sheer pride and honour just to be an ambassador of the country all over the world.”

When you celebrate this weekend, remember too those incredible Olympic moments you celebrated with the athletes and coaches.

It’s the Maple Leaf that made those moments possible.

Patrick Chan