Day 17: the last day. Day 17: an end to a new beginning. Day 17: creating a greater Canadian image. Day 17: completing Canada.
Day 17: The Best Day of My Life
Day 17: 28 February - The Golden Goal
There was one event that didn't catch many eyes. That was the men's 50 kilometre classical in cross-country skiing. Norway's Petter Northug came in first and won gold within the time of 2:05:35.5. Germany's Ael Teichmann came in second, winning a bronze, in 2:05:35.8. Johan Olsson of Sweden rounded up the medals, getting a bronze at his 2:05:36.5 finish.
Now the important event: Men's ice hockey gold medal game. It was a safe bet to say that everyone was either in someone's living room, on the streets, at the hockey house, at the game, or at a bar ALL OVER CANADA. No one wanted to be alone, no one wanted to see Canada lose to the USA, and no one wanted to see this happen alone. It looks so much like the women's game. Finland had already won bronze with a 5-3 win over Slovakia and it was the second-best rivalry in hockey left to be played.
Whoever is reading this pretty much remembers what happened. One quote by Gordon Miller to sum it all up: "SIDNEY CROSBY! THE GOLDEN GOAL! AND CANADA HAS ONCE IN A LIFETIME OLYMPIC GOLD!" "These golden games have their crowning moment." No one expected it to happen right then and there and like that, but it did and it was blimey brilliant! A 3-2 OT win by Team Canada over Team USA. No one heard Crosby yell, "Iggy!" but I remember hearing something over by deafening heartbeat and fast pumping blood.
Who are these golden men? They watched their female counterparts win gold. They watched their fellow Canadian Olympians spill everything to win gold, silver, bronze and sometimes not even place. They went the hard road to get to gold. But they did it and if you don't remember them, here they are again.
Roberto Luongo (Montréal, Québec), Martin Brodeur (St Leonard, Québec), and Marc-André Fleury (Sorel, Québec).
Chris Pronger (Dryden, Ontario), Captain Canada Scott Niedermayer (Cranbrook, BC), Dan Boyle (Ottawa, Ontario), Brent Seabrook (Tsawwassen, BC), Duncan Keith (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Drew Doughty (London, Ontario), Shea Weber (Sicamous, BC).
Our men who score (the forwards):
Dany Heatley (Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany), Patrick Marleau (Swift Current, Saskatchewan), Joe Thornton (London, Ontario), Jonathan Toews (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Jarome Iginla (Edmonton, Alberta), Ryan Getzlaf (Regina, Saskatchewan), Corey Perry (Peterborough, Ontario), Rick Nash (Brampton, Ontario), Sidney Crosby (Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia), Eric Staal (Thunder Bay, Ontario), Mike Richards (Kenora, Ontario), Brenden Morrow (Carlyle, Saskatchewan), Patrice Bergeron (L'Ancienne-Lorette, Québec).
There you go. Your golden men. But there were also the MVPs. Ryan Miller (USA) was named MVP and the goalie of the tournament via the directorate award. The directorate award for the best defenceman of the tournament went to another Team USA member, Brian Rafalski. But the directorate award for the best forward went to Captain Serious Jonathan Toews of Canada.
The all-star team went as this:
In goal was Ryan Miller (USA). Helping him on the blueline was Brian Rafalski (USA) and Shea Weber (CAN). Considered to be some of the best forwards, Zach Parise (USA), Jonathan Toews (CAN), and Pavol Demitra (SVK) were named to the team.
But the honours didn't stop there. Three members were inducted (or eventually would be inducted) into the Triple Gold Club. Eric Staal was inducted after completing his hockey medal resume. Jonathan Toews then entered the club later on in May after the Chicago Blackhawks won the 2010 Stanley Cup and became the youngest member of the club to ever enter. With the Olympic gold, Mike Babcock became the first ever coach to be inducted.
As we said goodbye to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Canada and the world had memories to last a lifetime. But Canada did something we probably never expected. From hosting the Olympics twice before, Canada had never won gold on home soil. On 28 February 2010, Canada finished the 17 day event with 26 medals, 14 GOLD MEDALS, the most of any country not only in 2010 but the most for any hosting country in any winter games. The mission to "own the podium" (have the most medals of the tournament) didn't follow through, seeing as USA had 37 medals, but I would give that up for the most golds any day!
The highlights of the gold medal game.