Day 16, the day before the last. A whole slew of events finished. Canada hauled in as many medals as they could, but no one expected as many as golden as they did. Day 16 was labelled as the Golden Haul seeing Canada win some memorable and worthy golds. It was a good preparation for what was yet to come.
Day 16: 27 February - Canada Reels It In
Despite Canada winning many golds, there were events where we didn't even medal. Like the men's slalom in alpine skiing. Italy's Giuliano Razzoli took the gold with a 1:39.32 time. Croatia won a silver via Ivica Kostelic and his time of 1:39.48, 0.16 seconds behind the golden time. Sweden completed the event winning bronze when André Myhrer crossed the finish line at 1:39.76.
In four-man bobsleigh, the difference between gold and bronze was 0.39 seconds. Close, but no cigar for some. The golden sleigh was controlled by the group of Steve Holcomb, Steve Mesler, Curtis Tomasevicz, and Justin Olsen of the USA, earning their first gold since 1948. They completed the run with a time of 3:24.46. The silver team, Germany's André Lange, Kevin Kuske, Alexander Rödiger, and Martin Putze, crossed the line at 3:24.84. Bronze was won just 0.01 second behind the German sleigh. Canada's team of Lyndon Rush, David Bissett, Lascelles Brown, and Chris le Bihan were the ones to be in the sleigh and finish at 3:24.85.
The women's 30 kilometre classical cross-country skiing event saw three Europeans dominate in skis. Polish cross-country skier, Justyna Kowalczyk, finished the race at 1:30:33.7, followed by Norwegian Marit Bjorgen at 1:30:34.0. Bronze was awarded to Finnish skier Aino-Kaisa Saarinen who finished at 1:31:38.7.
Another event that didn't see a Canadian medal was the ladies' team pursuit. Germany's team of Daniela Anschûtz-Thomas, Stephanie Beckert, and Katrin Mattscherodt finished first, winning gold at 3:02.82. Japan followed closely behind the German team. Masako Hozumi, Nao Kodaira, and Maki Tabata finished at 3:02.84. The team placed at bronze was the Polish team. At 3:03.73, Katarzyna Bachleda-Curus, Katarzyna Wozniak, and Luiza Zlotkowska crossed the line to win the bronze.
The final three events saw Canadian gold. What a joy it was for me to watch two on the big screen and one at the event. What magic one could feel!
In speed skating, the men's team pursuit Canada was neck-to-neck with the USA team in the gold medal skate. The bronze medal skate was held earlier and saw the Dutch team of Jan Blokhuijsen, Sven Kramer, and Simon Kuipers take the medal after 3:39.95 of skating agains the Norwegians (both of the teams finishing faster in their third place skate than the gold-silver skate). The final team pursuit skate saw the team of Brian Hansen, Chad Hedrick, and Jonathan Kuck (USA) crossing the line at 3:41.58, just 0.21 seconds behind the golden team. That golden team being of Canadians Mathieu Giroux, Lucas Makowsky, and Denny Morrison.
One of my favourite events of the day was the men's snowboarding parallel giant slalom. France's Mathieu Bozzetto was awarded the bronze, Benjamin Karl of Austria won silver, and one of my favourite snowboarders, Canadian Jasey-Jay Anderson, won gold! What a way to go out too, eh? Jasey-Jay was nearing the end of his career but he had to win gold on home soil first. And that's just what he did. I would've felt more than satisfied to have ended my career on that note.
The final event to conclude on Day 16 was my favourite (maybe because I was actually there) - men's curling. Switzerland had already won bronze in a 5-4 win over the Swedish team. Ralph Stöckli led his team of Jan Hauser, Markus Eggler, and Simon Strübin to the bronze medal. The gold medal sheet saw the Canadian team play against the Norwegian team (and their awesome pants!). Kevin Martin completed the medal resumé with his 6-3 win over the Norwegians and their crazy pants! Your golden curlers: Kevin Martin, John Morris, Marc Kennedy, and Ben Hebert. Your silver medalist: Thomas Ulsrud, Christoffer Svae, Torger Nergard, and Havard Vad Petersson.