Do Canada's Active, Outdoor Winters Breed Olympics Gold?

If you need a little misery-loves-company commiseration on winter, Hazel Borys shares some pics from Winnipeg, the coldest big city on earth. How this winter city deals with the polar vortex is something we may all need to get used to.

1 minute read

February 13, 2014, 10:00 AM PST

By Scott Doyon


"Last Friday, our nine-year-old came home from school talking nonstop Olympics. He went on for awhile about 2010 medal counts, with Canada taking home 14 golds in Vancouver, the record for any country at Winter Olympics. The deep polar vortex we’ve been trudging through this winter has to have some silver lining, so perhaps being better at Winter Olympics is part of the payoff for our wintry country. #WeAreWinter. However, I couldn’t help but thinking about Suburban Nation’s account of Canadian urbanism, and wondering if there’s any cause and effect between walkable urbanism, active kids, and Olympic gold."

Hazel Borys goes on to talk about how Canadian city planning differs from American, and how the two have differed over time. Borys uses a photo essay to point out a few differences in how Canadians manage to stay active during the winter, even in suburban neighborhoods. For instance: "Students stay indoors for recess when the wind chill reaches -28 degrees Celsius. Otherwise, it’s snowy fun, with winter gear policies enforced."

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