It's safe to say that the man who went by the name of Captain Canada, a.k.a Pique Newsmagazine's Jon Parris, became a staple in Whistler throughout the Olympic Games. Anyone who spent any time in the village undoubtedly ran into the crazy man wearing a red track suit and waving a ridiculously large Canadian flag. Many even joined him for photographs or high-kick dance moves. On Monday morning, one day after the Olympics wrapped up, Pique's editorial staff finally managed to get Parris to stop dancing long enough for him to reveal why he was so hell-bent on spreading local pride. Here, in exclusive detail, is his story.
What made you decide to create a large flag and adopt the persona of Captain Canada?
I think it developed out of boredom. When first watching the torch relay run through Function, I realized that the Winter Olympics aren't very spectator-friendly. You wait forever until someone races by and it's over. I came to the conclusion that it would be better to see the whole thing if I ran with it.
So naturally I ran home, grabbed my red tracksuit and decided to run with the relay from Nordic to the finish. I had no intention of carrying on with this through the Games until it simply became obvious that that was going to be the most fulfilling way to experience them. Everyone smiles when they see a clown! And I like clowning around! Canadians are supposed to be funny right?
I also wanted to represent the everyday Olympian. There are many people around town who have overcome injuries, sickness and circumstance and remain passionate about enjoying life. In all the fuss about the issues surrounding putting the Games on a lot of us forgot why they exist in the first place. Sports are a good thing to aspire to. They promote a healthy lifestyle. The Olympics have been vilified around here because they have put such a weight on our resources and space. I don't think it's the Games that are at fault, but society's need to make everything bigger and better. Not just the Olympic Games. I for one am very inspired by athletes, the Olympic fever just enveloped me, and in turn I became the best smiling fan I could be. The fight for the well being of society will just have to wait a couple weeks.
The simple truth of the matter is that the whole thing just became my way of never having to look back on the Games and think, "That would've, could've, should've been more fun."