Canada wins four medals and demolishes Russia in Olympic ice hockey
After a stuttering start to its Vancouver Olympics, Canada wins four medals and serves up a 7-3 demolition of Russia in ice hockey. Was 'Winning Wednesday' all thanks to a bearded skeleton slider?
Vancouver, British Columbia
At the end of the first week of the Winter Olympics, many Canadians might have been asking for a do-over. By the end of the second, they might be petitioning for an extension.Skip to next paragraph
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Remember when Canada’s Winter Olympians looked vaguely like moose in headlights? The moment finally upon them, the podium waiting to be owned, Canada flinched.
Sometimes Americans came bombing down the mogul run, snatching gold at the last possible instant. Sometimes Canadians saw the whites of destiny’s eyes and simply couldn’t stand the heat of the gaze, smacking into side walls on the skeleton track.
On what is now being called "Winning Wednesday," those days felt like another Olympics entirely. Canada won four medals and laid such a beating on archrival Russia in the men’s hockey quarterfinal that Russian ace Alexander Ovechkin was virtually handing over lunch money at the end of the game.
And more than that, Wednesday’s medal rush came after two nights that were not merely memorable for Canada, but transcendent. The ice-dancing pair of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won a stunning gold Monday, and figure-skater Joannie Rochette skated a program of such courage Tuesday – two days after her mother passed way unexpectedly – that it brought a nation to tears.
Own the Podium 2.0
It is too late for Canada to own the podium the way it intended. The race for the overall medal lead is down to the United States and Germany, who appear to be too far ahead to be caught by anyone else.
But as a consolation prize, Canada is now perhaps the front-runner to top the gold-medal table, its seven golds tied with the US and Germany. It could even say that, by doing this, it would win the medals race – China and the International Olympic Committee would agree, at least.
But Canada is past that "own the podium" stuff now, and thank goodness. It was only when Canada clearly fell out of the medals race that it began to show the world how good it actually is.
And that has been fun to watch. Unless you are Russian, perhaps.