Maelle Ricker wins gold for Canada

Maelle Ricker of Canada has won gold in the ladies snowboard cross competition today.  “Way to go Maelle!  We love you!  Canada is very proud of you.”

This is Canada’s second gold medal of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games so far.  Canadians are going wild over our medal wins and we seem to be getting most of them from Cypress Mountain.

Yesterday, Mike Robertson also won silver in the same event for mens snowboard cross competition.  Yeahhh Mike!

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Canada’s mens and womens hockey teams have been hammering the other teams.  Canadian women slaughtered Slovakia 18 – 0.  The Canadian men outscored Norway 8 – 0.  Canada could be on our way for another two gold medals in men and womens hockey.

Go Canada Go!

A new self-confidence in Chinese sports is growing

Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue took the gold, and Pang Qing and Tong Jian took the silver today in pairs freestyle figure skating on Day 4. It’s China’s first-ever gold in pairs figure skating. Zhao and Shen, a married couple, had won many championships but never a gold medal at the Olympics.  They decided to come out of retirement to try for gold and they did it.

Congratulations to Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue in winning gold, and to Pang Qing and Tong Jian in winning silver. They were truly beautiful and flawless performances!

What stands out in my mind so far, in these Winter Olympic games in Vancouver, is the rise of the new China in pairs figure skating, speed skating, and likely in curling (and of South Korea in speed skating [short and long tracks]).  This may be Asia’s fortes and fortune in such sporting events for many years to come.  Back in the 90s, Russia had dominated figure skating but it looks like China may be the new force in world of pairs figure skating if they keep this up.  There seems to be a new self-confidence in Chinese and Asian sports.  China’s participation in many sporting events on the world stage is beginning to take the lead.  This is something new which I haven’t seen before.  We look forward to seeing what other sporting events this nation will take to new levels.

Why the sour face? Alex Bilodeau is impassioned…Dale Begg-Smith is dispassioned

No, don’t look at the guy in the middle. He’s the winner.  Look at the guy standing to the left of gold medalist Alex Bilodeau.  He is the silver medalist, Dale Begg-Smith.  His sour and grumpy face was obvious on the platform.  Why is he so dispassionate?  Begg-Smith and Bilodeau may have been competitors but there’s a bigger story behind that.  Begg-Smith looked rather uncomfortable and very dispassionate on the podium while receiving his silver medal.  The story is he is a Canadian who decided to ditch Canada and ski for Australia.

But what’s the problem with that? Bitterness brewed disloyalty, and disloyalty brewed envy, and perhaps envy brewed embarassment. All we can do is guess. In American terminology, Begg-Smith was a turncoat who betrayed his own country of Canada because he couldn’t take the heat in Canada.  He was gold medalist in Turin but ditched Canada when he got himself in a little hot water with his internet spamming business which made him millions. He even drives a black Lamborgini. So he sold his soul for money?  Yep. That’s the scoop I heard from CTV news.

Personally, I feel that he should have stayed with Canada, or at least, stuck it out until he had no choice but to leave.  Begg-Smith sure didn’t look comfortable receiving his silver medal for Australia, and showed no passion in winning silver for the Aussies. That was obvious at the bottom of the slopes and on the podium.

Sydney, Australia. Journalist, Peter Fitzsimons, wrote in a Sydney Morning Herald column titled ”Why Mr. Miserable leaves us icy cold”:

‘It is probably because his whole shtick all seems so ruthlessly joyless,” Fitzsimons wrote. ”He is infamous for offering monosyllabic answers to journalists. And even in victory, or near victory, he offers nothing. To see him on the podium, between a wildly celebrating American and Canadian, while he looked like he had just sucked on a lemon, was to cringe. All of it might be forgivable if there was the slightest sense he has more than a walnut’s worth of feeling for his adopted country.

”I am, you are, he says he is, Australian. And of course he has had an Australian passport for six years, since earlier falling out with his native Canadian team – though he still lives in Vancouver. But in all those monosyllabic grunts, it has been hard to ignore gaining the feeling that he couldn’t give a flying fig for Australia, and is simply flying a flag of convenience. If he doesn’t care for us, why should we care for him? I don’t.”  read on

What I learned from this:

  1. Love and be loyalty to your own country,
  2. admit and accept your wrong-doings in this life, and
  3. don’t let a little criticism turn you off so easily.

If Begg-Smith had done so, he would have had his fellow Canadians cheering for him. … Okay, I’ve let off enough steam.

Canada finally wins gold at home – Way to go Alex!

Canada has won our first gold medal on home turf.  Alexandre Bilodeau finished first in the men’s moguls at Cypress Mountain. Way to go Alex!He beat out Dale Begg-Smith (on the right) on performance and the fastest time. (There’s another story behind him.)

It’s what we’ve been waiting for a long time; we didn’t make gold in Montreal ’76 or Calgary ’88 so the long drought is over.

There had been this funny feeling churning inside wondering if we would win a gold medal at home.  That feel has subsided and now the pressure is off Canada’s back. Now it’s down to business of just competing for the fun of it…and more medals of course.

When Alex Bilodeau received the gold medal on the podium tonight, he made Canadians very proud. Canadians were going wild with passion, pride and excitement. He has won out hearts because he says he gets his inspiration from his brother, Frederic, who struggles with cerebral palsy.  That’s humility and it’s great to see him on the top podium.

Canada wins silver – Congrats to Jenn Heil!

Canada has won its first medal, a silver medal in womens moguls on Cypress Mountain.

Even though Jennifer Heil was expecting to win the gold in Vancouver, Canadians still love Jenn Heil. Way to go Jenn! We are proud of you.

Congratulations to Hannah Kearney who won gold.

Canada hasn’t won a gold medal on home turf yet (Montreal ’76, Calgary ’88) but we are still looking for our first gold medal in the Vancouver Games. May God bless our Canadian Olympic athletes.