Tuesday, March 5th, 2002: Ok, OK, I know this is a couple of weeks late, but I had to eventually put this up. If you couldn't tell from the title alone, this entry is about all things Canadian, or more specifically, the conclusion of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics.
I know my last entry criticized the Canadian team in general, but I have to say the days that followed it all but made up for the poor performances over the first week and a half.
Canada ended up with more medals than ever before, 17 in total, but still fell short when compared to the strides other countries made, most notably, the US team.
After finishing with more medals than the US in the 1998 Nagano Games, the Canadian team finished with half the amount the US won this time around.
So what went wrong?
Why did we improve by only a couple of medals when the US increased theirs by a whopping 20+?
I can't explain it, other than saying it all comes down to money. We don't have the athletics funding up here the way the US does. We talk about closing all after school activities for students because the teachers feel they aren't paid enough, even though they're the highest paid in the country, and the US talk about how much more can be spent and where.
Something's wrong with this picture.
Since I don't have answers for that, I'll touch on the highlights on the Olympics, most notably, the way Canada kicked the USA's asses in both the men's and women's hockey tournament!

So, it began with a bang, the Canadian women's team reeled off 3 straight shutouts, though it wasn't much of a surprise considering they were the superior team in each game, and all the way through the tournament until the gold medal game.

In the gold medal game, they were matched up against a USA team that hadn't lost since Canada beat them in the 2001 Women's World Tournament. That's a stretch of something like 36 game that included 7 wins and 1 tie against Canada in it's past 8 games. But we all know that doesn't mean a thing when it comes to a big game.
Prior to the game, we found out the USA team had spread a Canadian flag on the floor in the middle of their dressing room and, from reports I've recently heard from members of the Canadian team, were walking on it with their shoes and skates.
Now that's mightly nice of the Americans, don't you think? And you wonder why I hate the general attitudes of most Americans?

The Canadian found out about this prior to hitting the ice and you know it had to have made their blood boil. It showed once the game started as the Canadian team took the play to the Americans in every aspect of the game. The referee probably thought it was too unfair this was happening, so she decided to call 9 or 10 straight penalties against the Canadian team while turning a blind eye to anything of similar offense by the Americans.
So, the Canadians kept their cool and promply went on to kill off every powerplay, minus one I believe.

Trivia Question: What was the nationality of the referee in the Canada/USA gold medal game? (see lower down for answer)

So, as the game went on, it was quite clear who was going to win. By the time the final buzzer sounded, the score flatered the USA as the Canadian women went on to a 3-2 win, capturing the gold medal and avenging the loss 4 years earlier in Nagano.
Best quote came from Haley Wickenheiser after the game when commenting about the Canadian flag in the American dressing room..."The Americans had our flag on the floor of their dressing room and now I want to know if they want us to sign it!"

Team Canada captain, Cassie Campbell

Amidst all the celebrating, there were tears of joy and tears from missed opportunities. Needless to say, Team Canada had the tears of joy, while the Americans had the other kind of tears.


I love it...congratulations to the 2002 Women's Winter Olympic Gold Medal hockey team from Canada! You made this fan and an entire nation proud.

Trivia answer...USA