Posted on 02 March 2010.
After having hosted two Olympic Games (the Summer version in Montreal in 1976, and the Winter Games in Calgary in 1988), Canadians had enough. They set out to make their mark on their home soil when the Winter Games came to Vancouver. They took the surprising, unprescedented, and — some thought — unnecessarily obnoxious step of starting a movement to “Own the Podium.”
There was a bit of disappointment when women’s skiing sensation Jenn Heil came away with a silver in the earliest days of the Games, but she promised Canada’s long-awaited gold medal on home soil would come.
Boy, did it ever, eh?
Alexandre Bilodeau kicked things off with a gold in the men’s moguls, and it was a full-fleged gold rush after that. Not content with just the one gold on home soil, Canada’s Olympians came through with 14 of them, setting a record for the most gold medals in any Winter Olympic Games.
It was made that much sweeter on Sunday night, when the gold medal run was capped by Canada’s victory over the United States in men’s hockey, avenging a loss earlier in the tournament with an overtime goal from Sidney Crosby. The win became the most watched television event in Canada’s history, with half of the country’s population watching the entire game, and 80 percent of the nation watching at least a part of it.
All told, Canada came in third in the overall medal count, behind the Americans and Germans. But Canada’s 14 golds topped Germany’s 10 by a wide margin, and the U.S. and Norway followed with nine each.
It only makes sense that as the Olympic flame is extinguished these historic
Winter Olympics in Vancouver should be commemorated by naming the entire Canadian Olympic contingent — specifically its gold medal winners — our Canadian of the Week.
Here’s a list of the gold-medal winners:
Alexandre Bilodeau: Freestyle Skiing, Men’s Moguls
Maelle Ricker: Ladies’ Snowboard Cross
Christine Nesbitt: Ladies’ 1000m Speed Skating
Jon Montgomery: Men’s Skeleton
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir: Ice Dancing
Ashleigh McIvor: Freestyle Skiing, Ladies’ Ski Cross
Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse, Women’s Bobsled
Women’s Ice Hockey Team
Charles Hamelin: Men’s 500m Short Track Speed Skating
Men’s 5000m Short Track Speed Skating Men’s Relay — Charles Hamelin, Francois Hamelin, Olivier Jean, Francois-Louis Trembelay
Speed Skating: Men’s Team Pursuit — Mathieu Giroux, Lucas Makowsky, and Denny Morrison
Jasey Jay Anderson: Snowboard, Men’s Parallel Giant Slalom
Men’s Curling Team
Men’s Ice Hockey Team