"For Canada, Vancouver and Myself"

After winning the gold medal in Olympic men's hockey, Team Canada's goaltender Roberto Luongo said he was happy to have done it "for Canada, Vancouver and myself".

Thanks to Team Canada,  I've never been more proud to be a Canadian, a Vancouverite and a Canucks fan. What extraordinary Games! Thank you Team Canada for being an inspiration! Thank you for winning on home soil!

Godfather and Hockey

If you're a fan of the Godfather trilogy like me, you might remember a scene from Part II where gunmen penetrated into Michael Corleone's home and  almost shot him and his wife in their bedroom.

Don Michael Corleone:"You heard what happened in my home?" Frankie Pentangeli: "Mike, I almost died myself. It was all so..." Don Michael Corleone: "IN MY HOME! In my bedroom where my wife sleeps! Where my children come and play with their toys. In my home."

That's how I felt as a hockey fan after Canada lost to the US in the preliminary round and had to face elimination against Russia in the quarter-finals. Losing hockey, Canada's game, on home soil / ice to a rival nation is nothing short of a national crisis. As a Canadian, a Vancouverite and a Canucks fan, I prayed most earnestly for Canada to win. I don't know how I could carry on if Canada had lost, in our city and with Luongo as the goalie.

All credits to Team Canada. They rose to the challenge. A resounding 7-3 victory over Russia for the first time in 50 years restored hope for the entire country and made a gold medal rematch possible.

For Canada, For Vancouver

Prior to the men's hockey gold-medal match, perhaps people all over North America were arguing about one thing: US won the most medals and Canada won the most gold medals. Who Won the Olympics? How about we settle it with a hockey game?

Of all the medals awarded in the Winter Olympics, there is no question men's hockey gold medal is the most important for Canada. After a disappointing start, Team Canada had gained momentum. The women's hockey team had just won the gold-medal against the US, and the men's curling team had won gold after narrowly missing it 8 years ago. The stage was set perfectly for the final gold medal game.

Canada scored the important first goal and was leading by one goal into the final minute of the game. It seemed that Canada would win the game 2-1 without the sort of drama that had happened in their previous game against Slovakia. Then the unthinkable happened! With only 24 seconds left, the US team scored a game-tying goal! I could not believe what was happening! The players on the Canadian bench looked shocked and dazed. I had a flashback to the playoffs game last year between Canucks and Hawks, where Luongo allowed a goal in the last two minutes of the game and eventually lost it in OT.

I remember thinking: Can we really lose the gold medal with only 24 secs left, having led the entire game? On home soil? Right in front of our eyes? In front of the whole world? No, it's impossible! IT'S NOT RIGHT that Canada should be so humiliated!

As it turned out, the end of the game couldn't have been scripted better! What a game! What a finish!. Sidney Crosby, the face of Canadian hockey, a Stanley Cup champion, scored the winning goal with a gutsy assist from Jarome Iginla. Golden goal indeed! It's a great feeling to see the Canadian flag raised and sing the national anthem with millions of Canadians around the world. "God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee."

(Highlights and Replay of the gold-medal game available here)

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