Thursday, February 23, 2006

The official ECW Olympic post

Looks like the goal of 25 medals for the Canadian team wasn't so 'pie in the sky' as first believed.

Of all the Olympic sports, I have to say my favorite to watch has to be curling. I don't know why, it might just be the Canadian in me, but I can hardly ever pass a curling tournament on TV without stopping to watch at lest a few stones. It also doesn't hurt that 2 of the members of the Canadian's Men's team are from my home town; soon to be playing for the gold medal. As for the women's team, with the brief exception of the semi-final game, they've been playing pretty good. Of course that did mean they met up with Norway for the bronze and since they won, and Norway's second has got to be in the running for cutest Olympian of these games, it's all good.

Being a pure blooded Canadian I also watch almost every hockey game. In general it was pretty good, but when the women's team out scores their opponents 42-2 and the men, can't seem to find the opposing net with a map (although I still think that was a quick whistle in during the Russian/Canadian third period), there wasn't much doubt as to the final results. Congrats to the Swedish women though, for their upset of the Americans. While another American/Canadian showdown would probably have resulted in a more exciting game, the sport really needs more competition to allow it to grow.

I saw one stat that showed out of 150,000 women playing organized hockey in the world, 65,000+ are in Canada and 50,000+ are in the U.S.. Quick math shows that leaves less than 35,000 for the rest of the world. For example, Italy only has as few as 170 female hockey players, and while they played their heart out, watching team after team being beaten by the Canadians or the Americans by double digit scores is most likely not going to get more to sign up.

Even the Canadian women themselves were trying to help out their opponents to make a better show of it. In the Italy game specifically, they were told to not break up the icings so that the Italian women could get a bit of a break. While as a Canadian fan that's fun to hear, knowing our team is so dominating, as a hockey fan you want to see real competition on the ice.

So here's a shout out to all the Olympians from all the different countries; hope you had a great games and win or lose, you got something from the experience. And please, don't take anything Bryant Gumbal says seriously.

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