Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

2010: Canada Wins GOLD!

Posted 28 Feb 2010 — by admin
Category Gold, Olympics, Perry, Sidney Crosby, Team Canada, Toews

To watch the game again, head over to CTVOlympics.ca.
Yeah Baby!!
I feel bad that my Olympic hangover was so big that I didn’t even blog about all of Canada’s 14 gold medal performances. We had an amazing showing at the 2010 Winter Olympics where we won lots of medals, but as a crazy Canadian hockey fan there are only 2 that *really* matter: men’s and women’s hockey.

After our girls shut out the US Women’s team 2-0 to claim gold, they cracked a few beers and smoked a couple cigars on the ice. Once the media circus calmed down, their focus moved (along with the pressure) to the Men’s team. In facing the USA in the gold medal game, Team Canada had the chance to not only become the first hockey team since “the miracle on ice” to win a gold nedal at home, but also to set a record for the most gold medals (14) won by a host country at the Winter Olympics.

February 28, 2010 will go down in history as one of the greatest hockey games of our generation. At 12:15 the puck dropped on what would be a historic game between Canada and the USA with the winner taking home the gold medal. There was no shortage of drama, afer the USA beat Canada in the opening round on their way to a berth in the semifinals, where they beat Finland. Canada’s route to the gold medal game went through Germany, Russia and Slovakia.

14__1267394105_2780

After a nervous star to the game, where Team Canada seemed to be on their heels, Canada finally opened the scoring when Jonathan Toews took a nice pass from Mike Richards and buried it behind American goalie Ryan Miller. The fans at Canada Hockey Place (and in pubs and living rooms across the country) erupted when the goal went in. The first period ended with a score of 1-0 for Canada.

The second period continued with some awesome back-and-forth play, with great scoring chances for both teams. It would be an understatement to say that Canada’s hockey fans got even louder when Corey Perry made it 2-0 Canada in the 2nd period. But the USA would not be outdone, and the ever-pesky Ryan Kesler brought Canadian hockey fans back to reality five minutes later when he scored on Canada’s Roberto Luongo with the help of Patrick “Taxicab” Kane.

The late 2nd period goal by Kesler sent the game into a tense 3rd period, where nobody Canadian was comfortable with the lead. This was definitely not like Salt Lake City, where Canada pulled away from the USA in the 3rd period cruising to a 5-2 victory. Team USA was very much in this game right to the end, and pulled off a miraculous comeback, tying the game at 2-2 with only 25 seconds left. After a scramble in Canada’s end, Zach Parise knocked the puck into the net, silencing 16.6 million people all at once. After a split second of silence, I believe the most common words uttered at that moment were, “Nooooooooooo!” and “Faaaaaaaaaaack!!!! Nooooooooooooo”

The game went into overtime, and was scheduled to have a shootout after 20 minutes if nobody scored. But the shootout would not be necessary. Canada came out in OT and played with a renewed vigor that the USA couldn’t match. After 7 minutes and 40 seconds of Canadian-dominated play, Jarome Iginla dug the puck off the boards and passed it to Sidney Crosby who was all alone in front of the US net. Without much time or space, he shot the puck and managed to squeak it past Miller. The red light went on, the horn sounded and Crosby threw his stick and gloves into the air at the same time as half the country jumped up and screamed for all we were worth. After being criticized for his less-than-superstar play throughout the tournament, Sid The Kid came through at a critical time and scored the OT winner. His goal handed Canada a hockey gold medal at home and sealed the record of 14 gold medals; the most ever won by a country at a Winter Olympics.

This was an historical Canadian moment and at least half of the country was watching when it happened. Television ratings set a record with 16.6 million Canadians watching, making it the highest ever for a sporting event. A total of 26.5 million (or 80% of Canadians) watched the gold medal game at one point. Iggy slipped the puck to Crosby who scored the game-winning goal and the whole country exploded. Trust me. I was there. If you don’t believe me, check out the 1:20 mark of the video below.

To see the effect that a game like this can have on us Canadians, check out this post about the water consumption in Edmonton during the game. The graph alone is enough to show you that we may drink a lot during the game, but we wait until intermission to go use the washroom.

2010 Olympics are a Go! Poetry Slam!

Posted 12 Feb 2010 — by admin
Category Olympics

“We Are More” by Shane Koyczan
When defining Canada
you might list some statistics
you might mention our tallest building
or biggest lake
you might shake a tree in the fall
and call a red leaf Canada
you might rattle off some celebrities
might mention Buffy Sainte-Marie
might even mention the fact that we’ve got a few
Barenaked Ladies
or that we made these crazy things
like zippers
electric cars
and washing machines
when defining Canada
it seems the world’s anthem has been
” been there done that”
and maybe that’s where we used to be at
it’s true
we’ve done and we’ve been
we’ve seen
all the great themes get swallowed up by the machine
and turned into theme parks
but when defining Canada
don’t forget to mention that we have set sparks

we are not just fishing stories
about the one that got away
we do more than sit around and say “eh?”
and yes

we are the home of the Rocket and the Great One
who inspired little number nines
and little number ninety-nines
but we’re more than just hockey and fishing lines
off of the rocky coast of the Maritimes
and some say what defines us
is something as simple as please and thank you
and as for you’re welcome
well we say that too
but we are more
than genteel or civilized
we are an idea in the process
of being realized
we are young
we are cultures strung together
then woven into a tapestry
and the design
is what makes us more
than the sum total of our history
we are an experiment going right for a change
with influences that range from a to zed
and yes we say zed instead of zee
we are the colours of Chinatown and the coffee of Little Italy
we dream so big that there are those
who would call our ambition an industry
because we are more than sticky maple syrup and clean snow
we do more than grow wheat and brew beer
we are vineyards of good year after good year
we reforest what we clear
because we believe in generations beyond our own
knowing now that so many of us
have grown past what used to be
we can stand here today

filled with all the hope people have
when they say things like “someday”

someday we’ll be great
someday we’ll be this
or that
someday we’ll be at a point
when someday was yesterday
and all of our aspirations will pay the way
for those who on that day
look towards tomorrow
and still they say someday

we will reach the goals we set
and we will get interest on our inspiration
because we are more than a nation of whale watchers and lumberjacks
more than backpacks and hiking trails
we are hammers and nails building bridges
towards those who are willing to walk across
we are the lost-and-found for all those who might find themselves at a loss
we are not the see-through gloss or glamour
of those who clamour for the failings of others
we are fathers brothers sisters and mothers
uncles and nephews aunts and nieces
we are cousins
we are found missing puzzle pieces
we are families with room at the table for newcomers
we are more than summers and winters
more than on and off seasons
we are the reasons people have for wanting to stay
because we are more than what we say or do
we live to get past what we go through

and learn who we are
we are students
students who study the studiousness of studying
so we know what as well as why
we don’t have all the answers
but we try
and the effort is what makes us more
we don’t all know what it is in life we’re looking for
so keep exploring
go far and wide
or go inside but go deep
go deep
as if James Cameron was filming a sequel to The Abyss
and suddenly there was this location scout
trying to figure some way out
to get inside you
because you’ve been through hell and high water
and you went deep
keep exploring
because we are more
than a laundry list of things to do and places to see
we are more than hills to ski
or countryside ponds to skate
we are the abandoned hesitation of all those who can’t wait
we are first-rate greasy-spoon diners and healthy-living cafes
a country that is all the ways you choose to live
a land that can give you variety
because we are choices
we are millions upon millions of voices shouting
” keep exploring… we are more”
we are the surprise the world has in store for you
it’s true

Canada is the “what” in “what’s new?”
so don’t say “been there done that”
unless you’ve sat on the sidewalk
while chalk artists draw still lifes
on the concrete of a kid in the street
beatboxing to Neil Young for fun
don’t say you’ve been there done that
unless you’ve been here doing it
let this country be your first-aid kit
for all the times you get sick of the same old same old
let us be the story told to your friends
and when that story ends
leave chapters for the next time you’ll come back
next time pack for all the things
you didn’t pack for the first time
but don’t let your luggage define your travels
each life unravels differently
and experiences are what make up
the colours of our tapestry
we are the true north
strong and free
and what’s more
is that we didn’t just say it
we made it be.

Meet Team Canada 2010

Posted 30 Dec 2009 — by admin
Category Olympics, Team Canada

Team Canada announced its roster for the Men’s Ice Hockey Team for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver today. There were a couple surprises, but for the most part, the roster was what we all expected.

Surprise #1 was that the Captain will be Scott Niedermayer. Most people expected Jarome Iginla or Sidney Crosby and had all but eliminated Niedermayer from the running after a poor start to the Ducks season. Iggy and Sidney were chosen as alternate captains along with Chris Pronger.

We’ll save the rest of the surprises for later. First, let’s get to the team.

Forwards
Patrice Bergeron, L’Ancienne-Lorette, Que. (Boston Bruins)
Sidney Crosby, Cole Harbour, N.S. (Pittsburgh Penguins) Alternate captain
Ryan Getzlaf, Regina, Sask. (Anaheim Ducks)
Dany Heatley, Calgary, Alta. (San Jose Sharks)
Jarome Iginla, St. Albert, Alta. (Calgary Flames) Alternate captain
Patrick Marleau, Aneroid Sask. (San Jose Sharks)
Brenden Morrow, Carlyle, Sask. (Dallas Stars)
Rick Nash, Brampton, Ont. (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Mike Richards, Kenora, Ont. (Philadelphia Flyers)
Corey Perry, Peterborough, Ont. (Anaheim Ducks)
Eric Staal, Thunder Bay, Ont. (Carolina Hurricanes)
Joe Thornton, St. Thomas, Ont. (San Jose Sharks)
Jonathan Toews, Winnipeg, Man. (Chicago Blackhawks)

Defence
Dan Boyle, Ottawa, Ont. (San Jose Sharks)
Drew Doughty, Ottawa, Ont. (LA Kings)
Duncan Keith, Penticton, B.C. (Chicago Blackhawks)
Scott Niedermayer, Cranbrook, B.C. (Anaheim Ducks) – Captain
Chris Pronger, Dryden, Ont. (Philadelphia Flyers) – Alternate captain
Brent Seabrook, Tsawwassen, B.C. (Chicago Blackhawks)
Shea Weber, Sicamous, B.C. (Nashville Predators)

Goalies
Roberto Luongo, Montreal, Que. (Vancouver Canucks)
Martin Brodeur, Montreal, Que. (New Jersey Devils)
Marc-Andre Fleury, Sorel, Que. (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Mathematics of Gold: The Numbers Dont Lie

Posted 29 Nov 2009 — by admin
Category Gold, Olympics, Sidney Crosby

You know that I’m pushing for Jarome Iginla to be the captain of Team Canada in Vancouver 2010, and his main competition is from Sidney Crosby, but when I stumbled onto this video over on Fadoo.ca, I thought it was too good not to share.

Red-White Scrimmage Insight

Posted 29 Aug 2009 — by admin
Category Olympics, Team Canada
Red White 007

I bought my ticket early for the Red-White scrimmage, and I’m glad I did. Before the game I thought that it would be “really good” to see more than 40 of Canada’s top hockey players on the ice at the same time. “Really Good” doesn’t even come close to describing what it was actually like to sit in the stands at the Saddledome and watch this Team Canada hockey scrimmage. It was unreal and it was worth every one of the 3500 pennies I paid for the ticket.

What made it that good wasn’t just the hockey. Sure it was freakin’ awesome to watch the likes of Iginla, Brodeur, Crosby, Lecavalier, Luongo, Heatley (yes, I said Heatley), and the Stalls on the ice at the same time. But I found that the best part was to watch the Canadian Hockey Fan in it’s native environment and to see how pumped people are for the 2010 Olympics. There are numerous others who’ve posted about the game itself – who played well, who stunk, who played with whom, etc. But I choose to focus on the fans.

This will be the first time in 20 years that Canada host the winter games on our home soil, and we stand a legitimate shot at gold. The players know it, the fans know it, and the scrimmage’s sponsors knew it.

The fans showed up in record numbers on Thursday to catch a glimpse of the players that will play for our nation in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. I went into the Dome at about 2pm on Thursday to pick up my tickets and visit a friend and was surprised to see the Canadian women’s team playing the US women’s team. I watched the entire 3rd period as the Canadian squad took a 1-1 tie and turned it into a 3-1 victory. Nice work Ladies! As I was about to leave, my friend advised me that there were only about 200 tickets left for the scrimmage, and that it looked like it would sell out. I admit I was a little surprised. I expected 15,000+ but I didn’t think it would really sell out.

When I came back just before 7pm, it was absolute madness in front of the Saddledome. There were easily 2,000 people waiting outside in the ticket purchase line (not the will-call line!). As we breezed past into a packed Dome, it looked like this sell-out was legitimate. When a couple thousand fans miss out on a game, you know you’ve made a good decision by paying the $4.00 fee to ticketmaster to buy your seats on Tuesday.

Red White 011

Inside, the atmosphere was electric. The players were rocketing around the ice, and the 2 best goaltenders in the world weren’t letting anything past them. The Beer line-up was ridiculous, and there were thousands of fans wearing hockey jerseys of all sorts. I saw Flames jerseys, Canucks jerseys, Habs jerseys and red and white Team Canada jerseys. I even saw a #55 Jovanovski Team Canada jersey and thought, “who in their right mind would buy/wear something like this?”

Then it dawned on me: this wasn’t just the fans of Calgary in the stands. Sure they made up a majority, but people had come from all across the country for this game. The cheers of “Luuuuuuuuuu!” weren’t lead by Calgarians as much as they were by fans who’d made the trek out from Vancouver. The Boos that accompanied Dany Heatly every time he touched the puck were coming mostly from the Ottawa fans and the Edmontonians who were pissed that he dissed their team and said that he “wanted more options.”

When I saw a french-speaking family in Team Canada jerseys (and a Hockey Canada T-Shirt that read: Canada, home to the best hockey on earth) on my flight back to Montreal the next morning, I knew that this was truly Canada’s game. Hockey is a part of our heritage and we will always love and support our hockey teams.

It didn’t matter how many times Dany Heatly was booed during the game. When he scored a goal in the shootout, those boos changed to cheers in a heartbeat. The Fans made their point to him in the game: respect your contract, but they also showed that they’ll support him if he can light it up in Vancouver. Because, at the end of the day, if we’re home to the best hockey on earth, we deserve nothing less than gold in Vancouver.

Canada Team Red and Team White Rosters

Posted 22 Aug 2009 — by admin
Category Olympics, Team Canada

Hockey Canada has released the rosters for Team Red and Team White as it prepares for the Canadian Olympic orientation camp, which begins on Monday in Calgary. The players will practice within their teams from Monday to Wednesday. The teams will face off against each other on Thursday in the Red-White Scrimmage.

A look at these two teams shows how blessed we are with hockey talent in Canada as each of these teams could be entered on their own and would have a good chance at success. If I had to put money on one team right now, I’d choose team White.

Team Red (Name, Hometown, NHL team)

Goaltenders:
Roberto Luongo, Montreal, QC, Vancouver Canucks
Cam Ward, Sherwood Park, AB, Carolina Hurricanes

Defencemen
Dan Boyle, Ottawa, ON, San Jose Sharks
Drew Doughty, London, ON, Los Angeles Kings
Dan Hamhuis, Smithers, BC, Nashville Predators
Dion Phaneuf, Edmonton, AB, Calgary Flames
Chris Pronger, Dryden, ON, Philadelphia Flyers
Robyn Regehr, Rosthern, SK, Calgary Flames
Stéphane Robidas, Sherbrooke, QC, Dallas Stars
Brent Seabrook, Tsawwassen, BC, Chicago Blackhawks

Forwards
Jeff Carter, London, ON, Philadelphia Flyers
Dan Cleary, Carbonear, NL, Detroit Red Wings
Vincent Lecavalier, Ile-Bizard, QC, Tampa Bay Lightning
Milan Lucic, Vancouver, BC, Boston Bruins
Patrick Marleau, Aneroid, SK, San Jose Sharks
Corey Perry, Peterborough, ON, Anaheim Ducks
Derek Roy, Rockland, ON, Buffalo Sabres
Patrick Sharp, Thunder Bay, ON, Chicago Blackhawks
Ryan Smyth, Banff, AB, Los Angeles Kings
Jason Spezza, Mississauga, ON, Ottawa Senators
Eric Staal, Thunder Bay, ON, Carolina Hurricanes
Joe Thornton, St. Thomas, ON, San Jose Sharks

Team White

Goaltenders
Martin Brodeur, Montreal, QC, New Jersey Devils
Marc-André Fleury, Sorel, QC, Pittsburgh Penguins
Steve Mason, Oakville, ON, Columbus Blue Jackets

Defencemen
François Beauchemin, Sorel, QC, Toronto Maple Leafs
Jay Bouwmeester, Edmonton, AB, Calgary Flames
Brent Burns, Ajax, ON, Minnesota Wild
Mike Green, Calgary, AB, Washington Capitals
Duncan Keith, Penticton, BC, Chicago Blackhawks
Scott Niedermayer, Cranbrook, BC, Anaheim Ducks
Marc Staal, Thunder Bay, ON, New York Rangers
Shea Weber, Sicamous, BC, Nashville Predators

Forwards
Sidney Crosby, Cole Harbour, NS, Pittsburgh Penguins
Shane Doan, Halkirk, AB, Phoenix Coyotes
Simon Gagné, Ste-Foy, QC, Philadelphia Flyers
Dany Heatley, Calgary, AB, Ottawa Senators
Jarome Iginla, St. Albert, AB, Calgary Flames
Andy McDonald, Strathroy, ON, St. Louis Blues
Brenden Morrow, Carlyle, SK, Dallas Stars
Rick Nash, Brampton, ON, Columbus Blue Jackets
Mike Richards, Kenora, ON, Philadelphia Flyers
Martin St. Louis, Laval, QC, Tampa Bay Lightning
Jordan Staal, Thunder Bay, ON, Pittsburgh Penguins
Jonathan Toews, Winnipeg, MB, Chicago Blackhawks

Team Canada 2010 Jerseys

Posted 17 Aug 2009 — by admin
Category Jersey, Olympics, Team Canada

Got $400 burning a hole in your pocket?

Why not buy an authentic Team Canada 2010 Olympic hockey jersey. Or better yet, why not buy one for yourself and one for me so we can wear them while we cheer on our team next year. (Don’t tell me that you don’t have tickets to the Gold Medal game already?!!)
image_29d10de3f7cc6993d903d61cedd24f4f
Today, Hockey Canada officially unveiled the new jerseys that Team Canada will wear at the 2010 Winter Olympics (and Paralympics) in Vancouver. It should be no big surprise that we have a red version and a white version, but the price may be a bit of a shocker. There are 2 price levels: Authentic ($400) and Replica ($135).

The authentic jersey is made by Nike and is pretty schwanky. It meets all the IOC guidelines while striking a unique style with the native-themed maple leaf crest. It will make you skate faster than Rick Nash, score more clutch Olympic goals than Jarome Iginla and Joe Sakic combined, and it looks nice while accessorized with gold.

The replica jersey is exactly the same, except that the Hockey Canada mark on the left sleeve is missing. So I guess this means that the HC badge is worth $265?!!

“These jerseys bear a uniquely exciting Canadian look in keeping with the distinctly Canadian character. The appearance of these jerseys will ignite our nation’s pride each time some of Canada’s most recognizable athletes take to the ice to represent their country and the Canadian Olympic team,” said Michael Chambers, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee. “We know all Canadians will be proud of the athletes wearing these memorable Olympic team jerseys, and that those same fans will wear them in demonstrating their support for our Olympic hockey players.”

I like the fact that the jersey design includes some unique, West Coast style while adding parts from the rest of the country. There’s a beaver, a moose and a little fleur de lys in there for good measure. And, really, how can Team Canada be beat when we have not only an Eagle on the crest, but also a Thunderbird!

Replica jerseys are available for purchase right now, but the authentic jerseys won’t be available until October, though you can pay for it now.

I’m not sure how many people will be lining up for the authentic jersey at this point… but as Olympic fever builds, so too will the demand for these unique pieces of Canadian Hockey lore.

Wanna see what Team Canada has worn in the past? CTV has a great page with some pics of our old hockey jerseys.