Monday, March 1, 2010

Canada celebrates a gold unlike any other

A raucous celebration began across Canada after Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal in over-time to give his hockey-mad homeland a 3-2 victory over the United States in the Olympic final.
A roar erupted from the crowd 7.40 into the extra period after Crosby's game winner, which saw "Sid the Kid" throw off his gloves and leap in the air in elation as tearful teammates greeted him with hugs of joy on the ice.

People ran into the streets of Vancouver in celebration while the red sea of supporters at Canada Hockey Place, so silent a "U-S-A" chant echoed through the arena after the US equalised late in the third period, screamed with delight.
"To see that building and feel all the passion, it gives you a ton of national pride to represent that," Crosby said.
As the Canadian team lined up to receive their medals, the crowd chanted "Cros-by, Cros-by" followed by another chant of "Luuuu" for Canadian goaltender Roberto Luongo and a third, the loudest of all, simply "Can-a-da".
"There's not another atmosphere like this anywhere in hockey," US supporter Bill West said.
Canada claimed a record-setting 14th gold medal, the most of any nation at any Winter Olympics, with the victory over the Americans.
"To be part of setting that record, it's an awesome feeling," Canada forward Jarome Iginla said. "We were cheering like everyone else when the others got their golds."
But for many, the hockey medal was by far the most important.
"This is the Olympics. For Canada, this game is it," said Gavin Sword, who along with his brother Ray were only 10 rows from the boards.
"All the medals - blah, blah, blah. This is the one that matters."
The excitement spilled over into downtown Vancouver, thousands watching the tense drama on giant outdoor video screens around the city, those not fortunate or rich enough to be able to get into Hockey Canada Place.
"A guy offered me 50,000 dollars for this seat, but I'm Canadian," one sign said.
Cheers erupted from bars in the nearby Gastown district, where dozens were lined up to get the best seats for television viewing well before taverns opened.
Celebrities inside the arena included Hollywood actors Vince Vaughn, Michael J. Fox and William Shatner and singers Michael Buble and Neil Young, but the stars that glittered brightest wore skates and hockey pads.
Nearly 18,000 people, the vast majority a red sea of Canadian supporters, yelled for their teams in an arena where security was tightened for dignitaries attending the game and later the closing ceremony at adjacent BC Place.
After record-setting Canadian television viewership numbers for their preliminary round Olympic meeting, there was a sense Canada had shut down from coast to coast on Sunday afternoon to savor the drama.
"This will be all people talk about," Ray Sword said.

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