Following a sports team costs a lot of money, work, and heartbreak. The victories are small. Fans won’t receive a championship ring, or be reimbursed if the team trades away the player whose jersey they recently bought.
Although fans don’t gain any physical or monetary reward for their team winning, it helps connect communities. Sports bonded my dad and I, through those late nights crying at McDonalds after a Canucks loss, a tough basketball defeat, or a poor track race.
But the reward, for how short it lasts, is so sweet, and it’s why I’m excited to see the Vikes Varsity sports stats page return to the Martlet.
This tight-knit Vikes community was one of the reasons I chose to come to the island as a cross-country and track athlete. In my initial visit, I heard the athletic team prefers to focus on a small number of sports to promote excellence in a select group of athletes.
UVic has sent 10 or more athletes in every Olympics since 1980, and a total of 189 Vikes athletes, coaches, or alumni have represented Canada at the Olympics of Paralympics. Those representatives have won a total of 71 medals — 34 gold — and of all varsity sports, women’s rowing leads the way with 52 Olympians.
Sports have always been more than just an outlet for me. It’s been a way of life — from every jubilant high following a crucial Vancouver Canucks late-season victory, to depressing low after a sloppy midweek loss. It’s a conversation starter and an opportunity to meet new friends, as someone who struggles to make them.
I remember reading the Vancouver Province as a child, skimming my finger up and down the black ink to see how many points Henrik or Daniel Sedin had on the season, and talking with my dad or friends about their season point totals.
I now look forward to doing the same this year with some of my UVic teammates. I’m excited about the commitment to showcasing our athletics by the Martlet, especially in this crucial year.