Historian Matt Hayday on the Vancouver Olympics and the Canadian Identity

26 11 2009

University of Guelph history professor Matt Hayday published a podcast on the Olympics and the Canadian identity crisis. The podcast is part of the Globe and Mail’s Intellectual Muscle series.

The student newspaper at the University of Guelph has published this summary of his talk:

“Because the Olympics are such an international forum, it’s a way of showing excellence on an international scale [it’s] almost like Canada breaking out of its little bubble of self-doubt, of constantly being in the American shadows… Canada seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis.  As a country that was founded as a colony for France and England, four hundred years later we appear to be having a tough time trying to figure out our national personality. After World War II, some realizations seemed to emerge for Canadians: we are not American, we need to be recognized on the international stage, and sporting heroes provide a rallying point for us to do it.”

Update: for more on the history of the winter Olympics, see here.



One response

30 11 2009
Canadian Identity, Free Speech, and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games « Sean Kheraj, Canadian History & Environment

[…] These events shed a different light on the role of the Olympic Games in representing or reflecting Canada. Professor Matthew Hayday recently spoke on a University of Guelph podcast about the history of Canadian identity and the Olympics. […]

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