A Gold Medal Showcase

Canada's Game {Photo: Duncan Rawlinson/TheLastMinuteBlog}

The 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games couldn’t have gone any better for Canada, and I’m not referring to the fact that they set an Olympic record for the most gold medals won (14) either. I’m referring to the fact that they won the two medals that counted most to practically every Canadian citizen in the world: the men’s and women’s ice hockey gold medals. With hockey being considered “Canada’s sport,” these two medals made every other event seem like nothing more than an opening act.

However, Canada’s men’s and women’s hockey teams weren’t the only thing on showcase during these 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the sport of hockey in general was. The millions who tuned in across the globe were treated to some of the most talented rosters yet, filled with superstars from the National Hockey League (NHL) and the newly founded Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), providing fans and spectators the opportunity to see the skill and beauty of the game at its highest level. Combine this with the drama of a border rivalry between the United States and Canada in both men’s and women’s finals, and you have the ultimate platform for promoting the sport.

In particular, the men’s gold medal game was the ultimate showcase, and finale. It was a beautiful demonstration of multiple aspects of the sport as elements of character, emotion, and team camaraderie were displayed in compliment to the tremendous skill and physical expertise of each star. NHL rivals such as Brian Getzlaf and Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks and Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Danny Heatley of the San Jose Sharks, all put aside their differences to unite and represent their country, battling every shift to the sound of the buzzer, driven by national pride.

Despite Team USA’s heroic effort to come from behind as Zach Parise (New Jersey Devils) buried a rebound goal in the last minute; the icing on the cake was the story line of Team Canada defeating the Americans in overtime on a goal from none other than Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins), avenging their previous preliminary loss, in the game that mattered most. Canada’s “Golden Child” and NHL icon, Crosby, described the sensation stating, “It doesn’t even feel real. It feels like a dream.”[1]

With such an excellent display and dramatic finish, it is hard to imagine that the sport has not grown its reach after these Olympic Games. The excitement and thrill has most assuredly sparked the favor of many, and it couldn’t be better timing with the NHL playoffs around the corner. Thus, while the Canadians may have the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games ice hockey gold medals hanging around their necks, I feel the sport of hockey has won a gold as well.

[1] Quote from Ice hockey: Crosby show as Canada beat USA in gold thriller

The Hockey Writers