Canada beat the USA in overtime to take the gold medal in hockey, their most treasured sport. This gives them 14 gold at these Winter Olympics, the most ever won by any country, and a huge turnaround after the disappointments of the Montreal and CalgaryOlympics when we didn’t win a single gold. This places us at the top of the standings, four gold medals ahead of the second place Germans and five more than the Americans.
Expectations were huge for Canada this time around, and they suffered at lot of negative criticism in the media for a slow start. But to their credit the Canadian athletes showed poise and persistence, and finished off the Games with a storybook ending that will be the fuel of Olympic lore for many years to come.
But what the Canadians showed on the ice or on the slopes was only part of the story. It is what happened in the stands and right across the country that was truly amazing. These Olympics seem to have galvanized the nation, and released a tremendous amount of positive energy about the things we love about our country. Other nations have noticed this outpouring of pride in our accomplishments and have been either envious or reproachful.
There is a sense that we have entered into something new as a nation, no longer willing to settle for second best. I hope that attitude persists after the euphoria of the Games has worn off. It suits us; it seems to fit Canada in a way that it hasn’t before. Perhaps because we are overseas and living in countries that have disturbing social problems that run to the root that we feel a sense of nostalgia for our home and native land. But Canada is a great nation, and we showed that to the world over the last two weeks. I feel very proud of my country this morning. Way to go, Canada.