3 Great Canadian Victories at the Winter Olympics
The world’s now focused on Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games. Canada has had many great Olympic moments in the past. Here are some athletes that proved they have the Golden Touch.
1. Canada Wins First Winter Olympic Gold in Ice Hockey
The first Winter Olympics was an event largely dominated by Scandinavians, with 17 of the 49 medals going to Norway and 11 to Finland. Canada’s only medal came from ice hockey, but the Canadian team pulled its first-place finish off with aplomb, starting the tournament by flattening Switzerland 33-0, Czechoslovakia 30-0 and Sweden 22-0. Great Britain put up more of a fight but still went down by a score of 19-2.
At the same time, the US won a 20-0 shutout over Sweden and advanced to meet Canada in the finals. The Canada-US match was a hard-fought affair, but the Canucks still came through, conceding only one first-period goal. At the end of the game, Canada had won 6-1.
3. Ross Rebagliati and Karine Ruby Make Snowboarding History
When it was announced that the Nagano games would see the introduction of snowboarding as a medal event, Ross Rebagliati from Vancouver, Canada was fresh off a first-place win at the 1997 snowboarding World Cup. Here was an opportunity to add yet another medal to the pile he’d been amassing since 1991, including two other World Cup golds and first-place wins at the European Championships and the US Open. Podiuming was what Rebagliati did, and he looked forward to working his magic in Japan.
And work it he did, slicing to a Giant Slalom first-place finish with a time of 2:03:96, just a hair quicker than Italy’s Thomas Prugger, who clocked in at 2:03:98. On the women’s side, France’s Karine Ruby swooped her way to gold with a time of 2:17:34, a comfy lead over Germany’s Heidi Renoth, who came in second with a time of 2:19:17.
3. Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams Beat US in Historic Wins
After 50 years of missing out, Canada’s men’s hockey squad finally returned to the top of the podium, joining the golden girls to make Canada the first nation to win both ice hockey gold medals at the same Olympics. The men demolished the United States 5-2. The women’s team was called for 13 penalties in a hotly-contested gold-medal match, also against the United States, but when the dust settled, Canada had won 3-2.
These victories ended a 24 game home-ice unbeaten streak for the US men’s Olympic team, which had last been beaten by a visiting team at the 1932 games in Lake Placid, where they lost to – you guessed it – Canada.