Every Olympic Games I get asked where my allegiance lies. Do I cheer for my native country Canada? Or my adoptive nation Australia?
Although Olympic Games create an opportunity for so many cultures, languages and beliefs to celebrate together in a way no other event does, they also generate the most ‘me vs you’ attitude. They are ultimate incubators of national pride or identity.
A person’s identity is often based on their past – where they were born and lived, what traditions they followed, who has made up their entourage, what studies they completed or career they had.
But what if, for a moment, you tried re-defining your identity not on your past, but on your future? Crazy idea, isn’t it? Think about it. What would that look like? What behaviours, beliefs, values might define you? What places or people might make up your world?
Are there any gaps between your ‘past-based’ and ‘future-based’ identities? What would you like to do to fill these gaps? And what aspects of your ‘old’ identity will you always pledge allegiance to?
As for me, coming back to the question of where my allegiance lies for Sochi 2014… Well, let’s just say I’m very proud to be Canadian right now!