Our take: Get ready for our Olympians to unite Canada

Our new favourite son, at least for the next month or so, is Jamie Benn, our very own member of the Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team.

OK, he’s from Victoria, but close enough.

Benn joins Dan Hamhuis of Smithers, Penticton’s Duncan Keith, Shea Weber of Sicamous and the pride of Anahim Lake, Carey Price, are near the top of our list, too.

The Olympics begin in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 6. And since 2012 local Olympian Michael Braithwaite picked up oars and teammate Emily Zurrer elected to chase soccer balls, Cowichan  will not have a hometown athlete to follow.

But what is great about the Olympics is how everyone becomes a hometown hero, as long as they are wearing red and white.

Lest you believe the Games are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, we ask you to consider some numbers. More than 16.6 million people in this country watched the 2010 Olympic men’s hockey final, making it the most watched television broadcast in Canadian history.

David Suzuki could only dream of those kind of numbers. But in this country, that’s just the nature of things.

In it’s not just hockey. We will also be keeping tabs on the speed skating oval (with our Qualicum Beach connection, William Dutton), the ski hills and every other venue.

There are many Olympics haters out there, but we ask for a pass today from them, despite their hard-to-argue-against points related to the ridiculous $50 billion cost of staging an Olympics and how that money could be better spent.

It just can’t be wrong to cheer for our athletes who have worked so hard since they were youngsters to reach this stage.

Go Jamie Benn! Go Canada Go!

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