As much of Canada woke up this morning – light on sleep after staying up late to watch Virtue and Moir skate like a young child dreams: unfettered, close to the source, and beyond language – the excuses for why so many eyes were red, were at the ready.
“I’m allergic to snow, if you guys must know,” said one foreman at a Montreal construction site, pausing while handing out tasks to his crew, his gaze wandering up from his clipboard and into the distance as he mentally replayed Moir saying into Virtue’s ear “one last time,” before skating their living hearts out.
“Did you see their reaction when they won?” An OPP officer asked the driver of a navy blue minivan he had just pulled over for going 140 on the QEW westbound. The driver nodded, and explained she was having a hard time seeing her speedometer due to the tears. The cop let her off with a warning, and as he walked back to his cruiser, flung his arms out à la Moir, embracing the slushy morning rush hour.
And fourteen million Canadians tried to act casual as they asked their co-workers if they happened to stay up for the ice dance, pretending not to feel the tremors that still quaked in the roots of their souls, a scant eight hours after witnessing the Canadian pair’s transcendental culmination of twenty years worth of hard work. And judging, severely though silently, those who stated they hadn’t watched it, and actually don’t really ‘get’ figure skating.
“Yeah, that’s like saying you don’t get breathing,” said one fan, taking a quick walk around Toronto’s financial district to try to compose herself after her boss asked who Virtue and Moir were. “Or that you aren’t really all that into sunsets, the smell of newborn babies, feeling things, neck kisses, and messages in a bottle finding their way back to their owner forty years later. I mean, why are you here then?”
The fan pauses and takes a deep breath.
“Maybe that’s a bit over the top. I’m sorry. I can be a little touchy when I don’t get my full eight hours of sleep. But my god it was worth it.” And then she performs a pirouette in place, right there on the cold sidewalk – her stocky frame, worries, and heavy winter jacket, for a moment just a little lighter.
Photo: Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press via AP