Tks to nolando at Vs for headsup My Defining Canadian Moment is: Playing and cheering for Canada abroad Christina Stalteri, Ontario I was born in Canada to immigrant parents and at a young age I was taught how to successfully co-exist in a multicultural nation while still being supportive of our “other nationality”. To a certain extent, I do not think it ever occurred to me how Canadian I really was. I really began to feel Canadian when I moved away from the place I had always called home. I have lived abroad for over 12 years and strangely enough my patriotism has only grown during this time. I do not believe that I would be able to feel the way I do if it was not for the journey I have been on with my husband. I attribute my patriotism to the experience of seeing first hand the sacrifices and difficulties experienced while sharing my life with a Canadian National Team athlete. With his clubs we have lived the glamourous life along with Europe’s elite soccer players, but in my eyes it is the dedication he has shown when he plays for Canada that has made his career even more admirable. There is a sense of pride and a pure love of the game that takes over when my husband plays for his country. He showed me how representing your country is a privilege and also a duty. Many people view the Canadian National Soccer team as a minnow in the world of international Soccer; however, I have always seen a very different story. I have seen Canadian soccer players forge careers in Europe and receive international recognition. Even though playing for Canada was never financially lucrative, these same players sacrificed to play for their country. Support for the game is amazing in Canada, and if this support could trickle over to our own National Team we would be able to truly identify with the one part of the game that ultimately binds us all together. My husband has come home from games with knocks, bruises, and stitches, but nothing physical ever seemed to match the heartbreak of playing a home game for Canada in a stadium filled with away fans. The fans that have always showed affinity for Canada in those moments might have been fewer in numbers; however, each and every display of support for our nation was appreciated beyond words by the players on the field. My defining Canadian moment comes mainly from the feeling that is in my heart which is devoted to the country that has given my family and I so much. I was born and raised in Canada and I am so thankful for the fantastic experiences I have had thanks to our beautiful nation. While living abroad, there has always been such joy when we meet fellow Canadians. We are able to talk, to completely understand each other, and to celebrate what makes us Canadian. It is amazing how quickly we realize how much we have in common with one other and it is likely for this reason that we are so drawn to everything Canadian. Our home is very sports oriented and we make it a priority to follow Canadian athletes as they compete. We ended the Vancouver Olympics with a horrible case of jet lag after waking up in the middle of the night for 2 straight weeks to watch live coverage of the events from our home abroad. When a golfer saw my two year old son hit a golf club and then exclaimed, “The next Tiger!” I swiftly corrected him: “No, the next Mike Weir!”. My daughter tells everyone she wants to skate like Tessa Virtue. I own a Canadian Hockey jersey that I throw on when our teams play and have proudly paraded around in it during our Golden Moments. I have seen my husband shout while watching John Part play darts, not because he enjoys the sport, but because John Part is the only Canadian in the competition. Patriotism is in your heart and once you have it, you cannot hide your enthusiasm for fellow Canadians. Win or lose, first or last, the passion for Canada never sways in our home. Even though we do not live in Canada, Canada lives in our hearts and always will.