This day a year ago, Canada didn't just appreciate love, they fell in love. Many Canadians fell in love with one man on a pair of skis and battered knees, his story, and his brother. Many Canadians fell in love with the Winter Olympics and gold.
Day 3: 14 February - Canada's First Gold
I kinda spoiled the surprise of the day, but let's be patient and talk about what went on before the moment of a Canadian's lifetime.
Vincent Jay of France won the gold medal in the men's biathlon sprint with a time of 24:07.8 and no penalties. Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen and Croatia's Jakov Fak weren't far behind in winning their silver and bronze.
Also up in the mountains of Whistler the men's singles luge even was going on. The two-time World Champion Felix Loch of Germany defended his title as one of the best lugers in the world at the moment by winning the gold with a total time of 3:13.085. The two-time defending Olympic champion, Armin Zöggeler of Italy, received bronze after finishing his four runs with a total time of 3:14.375. In between the bronze and gold was the silver medalist David Möller of Germany with a time of 3:13.764.
Still keeping up with the Whistler theme, the men's individual nordic combined normal hill/10 km event was held at the Whistler Olympic park. The difference between the gold and silver medal was 0.4 seconds. With the best time docked at 25:47.1, Jason Lamy-Chappuis of France donned the gold and the silver went to Johnny Spillane of USA. Italy's Alessandro Pittin received the bronze at the time of 25:47.9
Taking the bus or train down a few kilometres, you arrive at the Richmond Olympic Oval where the women's 3000 metres speed skating event took place. Martina Sáblíková of the Czech Republic stole the gold with a time of 4:02.53, 2.09 seconds ahead of silver medalist Stephanie Beckert of Germany. Kristina Groves rounded up the medals with the bronze and a time of 4:04.84
And for those of you who have patiently (or impatiently) waited for this, back up to the mountains in Cypress the men's moguls took place. After coming in second during the qualification round, Alexandre Bilodeau made history in the finals of the final moguls event. On 14 February 2010, history went down and every Canadian heart was touched by the inspirational story of Bilodeau and the story that everyone watching will take away.
Bilodeau finished the event at first place and with a gold medal around his neck after earning a total score of 24.75 in the finals. Australia won their first silver medal at a winter Olympic event thanks to Dale Begg-Smith and his score of 26.58. The medals were topped off with the USA's Bryon Wilson and his 26.08 point finish for the bronze.
After finishing the event as the best of the best, Bilodeau shared an inspirational story that made hearts swell for this young man and his family. The eldest Bilodeau, Frédéric, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age and was told by doctors that he would be unable to walk by the time he reached 12. Sixteen years after the predicted time, Frédéric is walking and skiing with his younger brother who took his determination, inspirational story, and strong will to win the gold.
Now, in the 2011 season, Frédéric is still his brother's inspiration. Alex has not only won the 2009 World Championship title for dual moguls nor has he stopped at just the 2010 Olympic gold. Being the first Canadian to win a gold medal on Canadian soil was not good enough. Bilodeau has gone on to win the 2011 World Championship held in Deer Valley for dual moguls.
And if you want to see the golden run, click this link.