Allow me (again) to bask in a little national pride for a moment.
Canadians spend a lot of time navel gazing and musing over the fact that we don’t wear our hearts on our sleeves much. We’re afraid of coming on a little too strong, and when we do, we apologize profusely.
I’m so glad that for a change, we let our flag wave often and proudly. We sported the red and white. We sang our anthem spontaneously. We celebrated with beer! We even came off as a bit obnoxious.
For once, Canadians need not apologize.
(Exception: the closing ceremonies music. Let me make this clear: most Canadians don’t like Nickelback. Here‘s an example of a band we should have had close the Vancouver games, which also explains the mystery behind the title of this post.)
The Vancouver 2010 Winter Games certainly had its ups and downs and fair share of criticism. There will be plenty of time for analysis in that regard. For now, let’s just bask in the glory of those record 14 gold medals, including one in…mens’ hockey!!
Sidney Crosby’s goal at 7:40 into overtime gave Canada a 3-2 victory over the United States and our 14th gold medal of the Games. You could not have scripted a more perfect ending.
(side note: the Twitter evisceration Crosby received over that goal had me in stitches!)
In all fairness, it was a game that could have gone either way. Zach Parise had that heart-stopping goal with 25 seconds left in the 3rd that left Canadians swearing a blue streak. Ryan Miller once again stood on his head, stopping 36 shots. Both teams put on an incredible effort. But yesterday, it was simply Canada’s day. Luongo proved once again why he deserved to be in net over Brodeur, while guys like Corey Perry came through when Canada needed them to.
It was amazing as well how this one hockey game brought so many people together, regardless of whether or not they were hockey fans. It was something Cutesports observed in her online travels last night, and I certainly noticed the same. I can’t recall another sporting event that had so many people talking and tweeting and commenting and cheering, particularly people that wouldn’t know a neutral zone trap if it showed up in their backyard rink.
I’ve already heard the commentators musing about whether this can be compared to the 1972 Summit Series or the 1987 Canada Cup. To the generations that experienced those events, perhaps this win doesn’t hold a candle to those events. But I have a list a kilometre long of Canadians my age and younger that will remember Crosby’s goal for the rest of their lives.
It was the perfect finale to a Winter Games that took many of us by surprise, at least, those of us who couldn’t escape the piles of negative press. Those critics of “Own The Podium” may have been a bit premature in their comments. As I said in a previous post, our athletes have obviously done something right.
I would be clearly unCanadian for not raising my toque to our American neighbours. The United States once again amazed the world on so many levels finishing first in the medal standings with a Winter Games record 37, including 9 gold and leading all nations in silver with 15. My fave U.S. moments: the speed skating performances of Shani Davis and Katherine Reutter (forgive me: I missed Johnny Weir)
On that note, thanks again Ladies… readers for basking in the glow of the Olympic Flame with us. It was a ball! From giggling over the Norway curling team’s amazing pants to our liveblog of figure skating snark, we’re glad we could share these memories with you.
Now we have to deal with…Olympic withdrawal! GAH! But with March Madness, NHL playoffs, and the start of baseball season on the horizon, we should recover nicely.
I just don’t get the whole Own the Podium concept, Lady Bee. What’s the big deal? I’m serious, not trying to be rude in any way. Maybe I don’t get it because I really don’t give a shit about the Winter Games. The way I see it, the Devils play the Sharks tomorrow.
PS – Marty was not good in the 1st CAN-USA game. I’ve seen plenty of games where he has a rough one. It happens. But it’s not like Luongo was so awesome that he stole the gold for them. Please. He played the entire game like he was trying to not vomit. And why was Brodeur on the bench rather than Fleury? Just in case…
PPS – Zach is awesome. I’ve been fussing over him since 2003.
Pam, in a sense, it wasn’t a big deal, but a big deal was made over it here at home. Basically, OTP is a more strategically aligned approach to supporting amateur athletes than we have in the past. They have a mandate and clear goals. There was a lot of criticism that there was focus on some sports moreso than others. Some people argued that even the name is wrong.
I’m obviously as guilty as anyone, but there seemed to be an awful lot of attention given to criticising this program when really, the athletes should have been the focus first and foremost (which I think we accomplished here ;)) But that’s what we do – we overanalyse everything here in Canada.
As for Brodeur, I guess I saw that a little differently. He certainly wasn’t completely to blame for that first tilt against the U.S. although I recall there was a goal that I was a bit “uh…what?”
BUT when you’re just thinking about surviving the next game you do what you have to do, and if that means switching up the goaltending situation and shaking up a few lines so be it. I felt the same way in 2002 when CuJo got the hook in favour of Brodeur. And I still think Luongo in net was the right decision.
I don’t know too much about the OTP details, but I guess the purpose was to show that Canadians can shine on an international athletic stage? They did alright in Torino I think.
Of course I see everything through NJ-tinted glasses. Keep that in mind. Any of the three goalies would have had the exact same result. Which is my point. They did not win because of Luongo (I know you didn’t say that). It was nice for him to play for his home fans I suppose.
The whole Marty getting pulled thing I had mixed feelings about. On one hand, I was sad because that’s my guy and the he’s the best ever. It’s really sad when a legend starts to show some signs of slowing down. And if you read his book you’ll see that the olympics are important to him, so it was a bummer. On the other hand, because he is slowing down a little, he needs the rest. The Devils are more important than the Olympics. I assume most hockey fans would say that in the big picture “silver” is better than gold.
I must say, when I saw that NBC was promoting the Closing Ceremonies “star-studded concert” with a clip of Avril Lavigne, I decided the sign-off to the hockey game would be the end of the Olympics for me. Sounds like I made a good decision (I loathe Nickelback.)
I hated to lose that game, but once we made it to overtime I felt like we had at least showed that the US’s first win wasn’t a fluke (which several of our own broadcasters kind of implied, or at least that we had caught Canada off guard).
I really enjoyed these Olympics, even as limited as NBC’s coverage often was. Yay, Canada!
GM, LOL! I thought the EXACT same thing when I saw Avril Lavigne in the promo!
GM – Geez, I felt bad for you guys. I avoided NBC for that reason. I’ll give CTV this: they provided viewers (with a dish or cable) with many opportunities to watch a variety of events between the main network and TSN and Rogers Sportsnet. Plus they also streamed stuff. It was impressive!
And yeah, other than Michael J., the Shat and Neil Young, you didn’t miss much. (again I’ll say it: Hedley? A Simple Plan? Really?)
Pam – hey, I am the Queen of looking through team-coloured glasses ;) I couldn’t even bring myself to hating TEAM USA with Burkie running the show. I agree it could have been any three of them in goal last night and we’d have still had a pretty tight result. I would have even given Marty the edge over Fleury there too based on experience. I still love what he did for us in 2002!
I’m going to go ahead and say that the closing ceremonies performers were part of the joke.