Let The Games Begin!
Has Olympic fever gotten you yet? If you are following the Olympic coverage, there is much talk of the noticeable lack of winter in Vancouver (at least on Cypress Mountain), much secrecy and speculation as to who will light the Olympic cauldron (Wayne Gretzky vs Betty Fox, Terry Fox’s mother) during the Opening Ceremonies and whether or not Canada will be able to win gold medals on home soil (which we have not previously done). With the Games officially commencing in day and a half (Opening ceremonies take place Friday night, 6pm) you may be at a loss as to what to watch and who to follow. Here’s a brief primer – by no means complete - on some of our athletes going for gold in Vancouver: Hockey: Of course, Canada’s favourite pastime has much expectations to bring home gold in both men’s and women’s divisions. All eyes are on the men’s team as they try to snatch back the gold that we lost to Sweden in Turin. Wouldn’t that be especially sweet if it happens at home? We’ll have to wait and see how team Canada (headed by executive director Steve Yzerman and head coach Mike Babcock) does against Norway in their first preliminary game on Feb 16. On the women’s side, Captain Hayley Wickenheiser will lead team Canada into her fourth winter Olympics to defend our gold medal wins from 2006 and 2002. It is expected that Canada and the U.S will meet in the finals, which take place on Feb 25 at Canada Hockey Place.
Figure Skating: Ending a long drought of Canadian male figure skater champions is Patrick Chan:
only 19 years old, in his first ever Olympics. He’s a two-time national champion and won silver at the 2009 World Championships and certainly has a shot of medalling. Also, ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are another team to watch, with a silver medal at the 2009 Grand Prix Final and two-time national champions. They have been skating as a pair for over 10 years, and wowed everyone when they unveiled a move known as the Flying Goose:
Speed Skating: Canada’s long-track speed skaters have historically done well, and are expected to bring in the most medals for Canada. Speed skater Clara Hughes (who will lead the Canadian Olympic team into the BC Place Stadium tomorrow night as flag-bearer) will compete in the 3000 and 5000, in which she’s an Olympic champion. Cindy Klassen, Christine Nesbitt and Kristina Groves all have a shot at medaling in the 1000, 1500 races. On the men’s side, Jeremy Wotherspoon made it in to the 2010 Olympics after recovering from injuries last season, and hopes to win gold in the 500 or 1000 races. For more coverage on the Games and info about our amazing athletes, check out http://www.vancouver2010.com