Yes, another Winter Olympics has come and gone, and once again, Canadian Olympians had no problems getting on the podium. Finishing with a total of twenty-five medals – ten gold, ten silver, and five bronze – the Canucks were third in the overall gold medal tally (A position I like to call the ‘meta-bronze’). While host Russia had the most gold, with thirteen, and the most overall medals, with thirty-three, Canada most definitely emerged victorious in the ‘feel-good’ story department. Without further ado, here are the five most quintessentially Canadian moments of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games:
Speed Skating Selflessness
Speed skating is often seen as a solitary endeavour, but every once in a while you get to see the teamwork and camaraderie that forms when athletes train together for years on end. Gilmore Junio, having earned a spot in the 1000 metre long-track event, gave up his spot to fellow Canadian Denny Morrison so that Canada could contend for a medal. Morrison delivered in style, nabbing the silver for Canada, and presumably buying Junio a beer soon afterwards.
Canadian Coach Helps Russian Skier
It was all over for Russian cross-country skier Anton Gafarov. He had fallen in the Free Sprint and broken a ski. He had no hope of medalling, and could barely move on just a single ski. But still he soldiered on, determined to finish the race in front of his home crowd. Enter Justin Wadsworth, a Team Canada coach whose athletes had already been eliminated. Wadsworth ran onto the track and equipped Gafarov with a spare ski, allowing the Russian to finish the race – proving once again that sportsmanship has no borders.
Jan Hudec Super G Bronze
Usually a bronze medal is not such a big deal, but it is when it comes in alpine skiing, where a Canadian has not medalled since 1994. Jan Hudec is a 32 year old who has undergone countless knee surgeries – not exactly the picture of a medal threat in the super giant slalom – but it was he who ended that drought with his bronze in the super G. Perhaps it was the lucky looney that he buried at the finish line, or maybe it’s the energy you get after striving for so many years for Olympic victory, but Hudec pulled it off and in the process brought glory to the maple leaf.
First ever undefeated curling rink
Jennifer Jones made history at Sochi by leading her rink to 11 straight victories, a gold medal, and the first ever undefeated performance in Olympic curling. The late Sandra Schmirler, Canada’s last female gold medal winning skip, would have been proud of Jones’ performance as she brought the Canadian women their first curling gold since 1998. Brad Jacobs captained the Canadian men to gold as well, and while he didn’t go undefeated, he helped cement Canada’s place as the world’s preeminent curling nation.
Men’s and Women’s Hockey Gold
Of course this leaves us with the premier Canadian moments from the Sochi Olympics: gold medals in men’s and women’s hockey. The Women’s victory over the USA was especially thrilling: down 2-0 with less than four minutes to play, they rallied for two goals to force overtime. Marie-Philip Poulin, having already scored the equalizer, potted the golden goal at 8:10 into the overtime period, completing the comeback and setting the nation ablaze with excitement. The men’s victory was more emphatic, with a 3-0 domination of the Swedes. This outing had Jonathan Toews with the game winner and Sidney Crosby’s first goal of the tournament, a beauty of a breakaway. Carey Price got the shutout in a game that had people across our nation getting up at ungodly hours. It truly was a sight to behold the bars completely packed (and serving alcohol) at 7am on a Sunday, but that’s what hockey gold does to this great nation of ours.
It’s been a great run for the Canucks at Sochi, both on the podium and off it and makes us proud to be Canadian. Here’s hoping for even more Canadian winter victories four years from now in Pyeongchang!
What was your favourite moment from Sochi 2014? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.