This week it’s pretty tough to notice anything other than the Winter Olympics and how awesome we are as Canadians.
I’ll admit that I sometimes find myself questioning why we’re so proud of being tough enough to embrace our extreme winters (I feel proud in July too). But then the Winter Olympics come along and I’m reminded of why we really are the best country in the world—not because we’re winning medals but because we’ve got game. Canadians athletes, coaches and even fans are showing off their skills front and centre at the Sochi Olympics. Everyone knows it. Here is a list I found on Buzzfeed called Ten Ways Canada Has Already Won the Olympics, from the famous beer fridge to the Dufour-Lapointe sisters, to Alex Bilodeau to Gilmore Junio, I think the Molson ad says it all: ‘On behalf of all Canadians, sorry for being so awesome all the time.’
Americans are even noticing that we can out-chant them with our Can-A-Da cheer (over the U-S-A ones). Even the Wall Street Journal noticed our new winning attitude in an article that credits the ‘Own the Podium” campaign as the key to our success in these Games. Our attitude has changed decidedly—from a nation that was satisfied with participation medals to a nation expecting gold medals. It’s working in the medal count but it’s also spreading like a virus throughout the country and raising the enthusiasm of the fans, which is why we are making the biggest impact at the Games in Sochi.
Canadians aren’t the only ones who are doing things right this year at the Winter Games. The creative team behind the making of this ad for the Paralympic Games in Sochi nailed it. It caught my attention because I have a huge amount of respect for the Paralympic athletes but also because the ad is so effective in making their message even more powerful than it already is.
In slightly less inspiring news, I came across this video on YouTube that was uploaded by a Dad who recorded a five minute tape of kids wiping out on an icy sidewalk outside of a school. You can hear his commentary throughout the entire film and he is laughing hysterically. Judging by the reader’s comments, people are either horrified that he did this or think it’s the funniest thing they have ever seen. I’ll let you be the judge—but I will say that you need to watch the entire video before making a call. Note that I tried to determine where he is from but was unsuccessful. I’m guessing he is not Canadian though. Just saying.
Now, I have a way to make you feel better for laughing at all those kids. Donate a toonie to Toonies for Tummies, because we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for kids. It provides the energy they need for school. You might not have known that a toonie is all it takes to fill a tummy—the tummy of one of the one in six kids who go hungry in your community every day. I like the toonie tracker which shows you the location of the schools where your money is helping. It’s a great cause. Get your toonies out.
Have a great week and Go Canada!
Despite my weather induced misery, I did get excited about Skinny chocolate, more mom ads, new rules for educating our kids, an update on the Batkid and a great contest. That’s what caught my attention this week.
I read a fascinating article that made the rounds on facebook about a school in Aukland, NZ that removed all safety rules in the playground. The kids were found playing in mudslides, skateboarding, climbing trees and generally playing without rules but looking out for each other without being told to. Teachers and parents were initially worried but very pleased after the first year as bullying went away, they no longer required a time out area and the children were happier. This story isn’t just about playtime rules and bullying, this is about teaching children to make their own decisions and take risks. Child development experts point to the fact that we’re ‘cotton-wooling’ our children and protecting them too much which is more dangerous in the long run. Children don’t learn from watching other people take risks on TV, they have to experience it themselves. Let your kids go. See what happens.
Last week I wrote about effective advertising for moms, but I missed this one I found on the Huffington Post. Watch it if your mascara is waterproof. This company knows how to appeal to moms, but will they sell more baby carriers? I can’t tell yet, but I do think the subtle inclusion of the product is interesting. I wish more brands were doing this.
Another sequel I have for you today is an update on the Batkid story I wrote about months ago. It’s the story of a five year old boy with leukemia that made headline news in November when the city of San Francisco staged a Superhero extravaganza through the Make a Wish Foundation. The city reportedly spent over $100,000 on the event, ensuring that Miles Scott got his wish. It was just announced that philanthropists John and Marcia Goldman are picking up the city’s tab. What a bittersweet story this is.
On a more personal note, I’m still working on some of my New Year’s resolutions and so far they are all still a work in progress. I have been trying to cut back on sugar and found some help in the supermarket aisle with Dr. Joey’s Skinny Chews. They’re described as irresistible dark chocolaty chews—less than 20 calories each. I think they taste pretty good, they actually do satisfy that after-dinner craving and they’re good for you. And they’re gluten free. I say give them a try—you can pick them up at Loblaws.
Finally, if you’re in the winning kind of mood, you might be interested in participating in this contest from one of our great partners, Insception Lifebank. The prize is a mamaroo—it’s the hottest baby product on the market right now. If your kids are older, I would enter anyway and give the prize to someone you love. Good luck!
Have a great week. Stay warm and get ready for Feb.