CAMERON: Canada wins big in Sochi

Christopher Cameron
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Losing sucks. It’s not fun. Nobody likes it.

Christopher Cameron

Fortunately our nation had a lot of success over the two weeks in Russia and we didn’t have the same heartache teams like the United States had, especially in women’s hockey.

That one definitely hurts more than the men’s loss for a number of reasons. They were 3:26 away from shutting out the Canadian women’s team and keeping them from winning their 20th straight game at the Olympics, dating back to the gold medal game at the 1998 Nagano games, which the U.S. won 3-1.

They also hit the goal post on an open net, which would’ve clinched the game.

This is also what all of these athletes have been working towards for the last four years. It’s not that the men haven’t been working towards an Olympic gold as well, but unlike the women’s programs, where they have a core group that attends the women’s world championships each year, the United States men’s hockey team was all NHL players.

Their focus each year is on getting to the playoffs and winning a Stanley Cup, while for the women’s players their main focus is being on the national team and winning the world championship and for some helping their college program win a national title.

The U.S. men’s team failed to medal altogether, but their loss to Canada was still a frustrating one as the Canadian men’s hockey team showed their defensive domination, that they did all tournament, in winning 1-0.

Sunday the gold medal game was definitely a game worth watching for Canadians, but our men’s hockey team was so dominant it was somewhat anticlimactic. Regardless there was a lot of celebration happening when the final horn went, officially making it the first back-to-back men’s hockey gold medals for Canada at the Olympics since 1948 (St. Moritz) and 1952 (Oslo).

It was also the second straight Olympics that Canada had double gold in hockey, which also happened in 2002 at the Salt Lake Games. It could’ve happened in 2006 in Turin, but the men’s team fell off the map when it game to placing as the women’s team won gold that year as well.

The men’s hockey victory also meant it was a double-double for the nation, sweeping both hockey and curling.

Jennifer Jones ran the table to win gold in the women’s event, the first team to go undefeated since curling was added as an Olympic sport and first Canadian rink to win gold since Sandra Schmirler won in 1998 at the Nagano Games.

On the men’s side Brad Jacobs rink didn’t have the best start to the week, losing a pair of games early on, but they got on a roll and walked through Great Britain’s David Murdoch in the gold medal game to win the third straight gold for Canada in the men’s event after Kevin Martin won in 2010 and Brad Gushue in 2006.

Finishing with 10 gold, 10 silver and five bronze is something Canadians generally seemed proud of after all was said and done in Sochi. It was a four gold behind our performance in Vancouver and just one medal behind our overall count. The Canadian Olympic Committee has done a good job, with national corporate partners, in giving our athletes what they need to compete amongst the world’s best and the results are showing it.

***

Last Friday I was fortunate enough to sit and watch the last half of the women’s hockey gold medal game with Lisa (Jordan) Haley’s parents and extended family.

There was a lot of excitement in that house when Canada won gold, as I heard there was at the Whitetail Pub in Westville where many other family members were watching the game was well.

Lisa is always proud of where she is from and makes sure people know she is a Westville girl. Westville residents are definitely very proud of her, but I don’t think two people are more proud of her helping the women’s hockey team win gold than her parents.

That said, she does get a lot of attention for her accomplishments in hockey, but her parents Bev and Allie are proud of all of their kids (now adults obviously). When sitting with them a few times last week I learned how happy they were for what each one of them decided to do with their lives and that although Lisa has enjoyed a lot of success in hockey they like to show their pride in what their daughter Lesley or sons Mark and AJ are doing for careers.

I can only hope to be the kind of people and parents they are some day.

 

Christopher Cameron is the sports reporter for The News and can be reached at christopher.cameron@ngnews.ca or on Twitter @NGNewsChris. His column runs weekly on Wednesdays.

Organizations: NHL, Canadian Olympic Committee

Geographic location: Canada, United States, Sochi Russia Nagano Westville Oslo Turin Great Britain Vancouver

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