(photo courtesy Canadian Press)
The Vancouver Olympics came to an end with Sidney Crosby saving the show. I have been very critical of Crosby in these Olympics. His minus 3 last week against the Americans didn't cut it. I didn't think he was the superstar player that he had to be in this tournament. He didn't have a shot after 60 minutes in yesterday's gold medal game. He botched a breakaway late in the 3rd that could have won it. The criticism was growing shift by shift. However, Sid's last shift is all he will be remembered for as he goes down in Canadian history with one of the biggest goals this country has ever seen.
I don't know what you were feeling as the seconds counted down yesterday, but I was so nervous I thought I was going to puke. When Zach Parise scored with less than a minute left, all I could do was yell at Roberto Luongo through my TV asking him why he can't catch a puck.
And then came Sid.
When he scored, I didn't know what to do. I honestly thought they had said on CTV that the overtime was a 20 minute overtime and not a sudden death period. Until the guys started pouring off the bench, I didn't think it was over. It was and with the goal ended a two week period that won't soon be forgotten. Our nationalistic pride has spilled over. We have proven to the world that we are proud to be Canadian. We have also proven that we are a world heavyweight when it comes to winter sports. A record 14 gold medals. No other country has done that. Not the big bad U-S, not Germany, not Russia, but Canada. When you look at top 5 and top 8 finishes you will see that we topped the ladder. "Believe?" How can you not believe after what we've just witnessed.
It brings to an end two weeks of compelling television. You want reality TV, you just saw it. You saw it each and every day. Its why sports is so great! It didn't start well with the unfortunate death at the luge track, but we were drawn to it every day. We might not watch a skeleton race or figure skating until the next Olympics, but we will remember the names of Jon Montgomery and Joannie Rochette. I can't see myself flicking the channels looking for moguls, but I won't forget sitting on the edge of my couch for two straight nights watching Jenn Heil and Alex Bilodeau. The phrase "Alex Bilodeau has done it" is something we won't forget if we were watching it because it was history in the making. The fact it was Jamie Campbell making that call made it that much more special because of what has happened to Jamie over the last few months.
Seeing our athletes stand at the top level of the podium 14 times with O'Canada playing was outstanding. Seeing the coverage we got from CTV, TSN and Sportsnet was outstanding. I would put their coverage up against NBC's any day and I would put the talent that we had over NBC's any day. Speaking of NBC, how about this from "their" Brian Williams.
Lets talk about our Saskatchewan athletes and what they did for this country in Vancouver. How about this for a rundown.
Gold medals-Lucas Makowsky(Regina), Ben Hebert (Regina), Ryan Getzlaf (Regina), Brendan Morrow (Carlyle), Patrick Marleau (Aneroid), Mike Babcock(Saskatoon), Hayley Wickenheiser (Shaunavon), Colleen Sostorics (Kennedy)
Silver medal- Cori Bartel(Humboldt)
Bronze medal-Lyndon Rush (Humboldt)
What were your thoughts on the closing ceremonies? I found them to be interesting. I loved William Shatner and Michael J. Fox. It was great to see Catriona Lemay Doan get the chance she didn't get in the opening ceremonies? Did we really need to hear Hedley? Why did Avril Lavigne get two songs and Nickleback get just one. When did Avril ditch the skater boy image...did you see those heels? If they were going to be a ceremonies in which we poked fun at ourselves as Canadians, why weren't Bob and Doug McKenzie there. Why wasn't a cup of Tim Hortons coffee in the hands of Jacques Rogge and were there any sightings of Wally Buono on the surface of BC Place. For that matter, how can you talk about Canada and not mention Rider Pride?! Oh yeah, I loved the giant beavers!
Regardless, Canadians have just been through something very special. Moments like what we experienced don't come around every day. I hope you relished them just as much as I did. In two words, I BELIEVE! Oh yeah two other words. Sorry Sid and thanks! I guess that's four words.