Oh Canada, We All Knew This Was Coming!
It was only a matter of time before Canada won gold at the 2010 Olympics in men’s hockey. They were the one hope for the nation coming into the games, and they proved their assumptions to be true by winning gold. The only difference in the plan was a loss to the one nation who could mentally hang in there with the Canadian stars: The United States team. This upset was a shot to the national pride of Cana da, and it sent a chill through the team that had the upmost confidence in itself. My own belief, which has been discussed by many hockey analysts, is that the loss to the United States was the best possible thing for team Canada. It helped them realize they were not invincible and better it happened there rather than the gold medal game.
The whole idea for the Canadian athletes going into the Olympics was to win a gold medal. With their past struggles on North American soil, it was important to get a gold, and quickly. This was accomplished, taking pressure off all the athletes, EXCEPT the hockey team. With 14 NHL All Stars, and arguably the best team assembled ever under one uniform, the Canadian hockey team was win gold or failure. The loss to the United States not only shook their world, but brought them back to earth just in time to start a run that will remain famous in every Canadians mind for the rest of their lives. I mean, looking at this from a positive standpoint, the loss to the U.S. national team made quite a compelling story. The loss to the nation bordering you to the south, then to have a rematch for the gold medal makes for one compelling story of national pride.
As for the title game, it was everything we expected and more. The clutch goal at the end of regulation to tie the game and send it into overtime cemented the game as great. It was only with the game-winning goal by the new golden boy of Canada, Sidney Crosby, that the game was lifted beyond this level of greatness, into a level that can only be called epic, or eternal. People who watched it all over the world will remember this game. The gallant effort by the outmanned and outplayed U.S. team against the dominance of the home team.
What a great way to end the Olympics! As if the excitement didn’t want to end, the hockey game finished off the games with a bang. It also set the bar high for the next Olympics in 2014. The only question that remains now is can the Canadians repeat, and will they be able to assemble a team of this talent level ever again.
PS- I can’t wait to see the reactions in Pittsburgh when Crosby returns to the Penguins.