An emotional day for Canada on Day 14
The Canadian women continued to deliver medals on an emotional Day 14 of the Winter Games. Probably only second in place to the Men’s Gold medal hockey game, the Women’s Gold medal hockey game also carried as much anticipation of a nation. After all, hockey, regardless of who’s playing, is Canada’s game. It may have been a final that was called well into round robin play. Canada and the USA are dominant forces in women’s hockey so it was not really a question of who else will be in the final – just a question of who will be victorious. It was a hard hitting, fast paced hockey game and a very tight game with the Canadians only outshooting the Americans by one in a 29 – 28 shots on goal. Both American goalie, Jessie Vetter, and Canadian goalie, Shannon Szabados, had their work cut out for them but it would be Szabados who would get the shut out. The Canadians first goal would come close to the end of the first period. With only 6 minutes left, Marie-Philip Poulin scored. Only a mere 3 minutes later, Poulin would also score the second goal of the game which would prove to be the last goal scored in the next two periods. Canada became the only country to three-peat a gold medal in any event at a Winter Olympics. And it happened at home. Finland would beat Sweden 3 – 2 in the bronze medal game.
From an emotionally charged Canada Hockey Place booming with Canadian pride to a more somber feeling at the Pacific Coluseum and the women’s figure skating with a whole nation sharing in the mourning of Joannie Rochette’s mother just days earlier. It would be safe to say, that, whoever watched Rochette’s heart felt short program two days earlier did not have a dry eye. Rochette was in a close third after the short program with 71.36 points, only 2.50 points behind Japan’s Mao Asada. However, Asada and Korea’s Kim Yu-Na skated near flawlessly during the ladie’s free skate while Rochette, although landed all her jumps cleanly and precisely, seemed to struggle only a bit in the “in between”. It was a competition for only these top three skaters, though. Korea would take gold, Japan with the silver, and Rochette would make her mom and nation so proud with a bronze medal and a total point score of 202.64. I can not even begin to imagine how deep one would need to dig to find the courage and strength to continue to compete at something you worked your whole life for after such a shocking and terrible personal tradgedy. Rochette (Île-Dupas, QC) has made Canada notice what it means to be an athlete sometimes as she put her country ahead of herself. Although, Canada would not have faulted her if she had decided to pull out of the competition. We would have supported her in whatever decision she had made.