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Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Canadian Hockey wins Olympic Gold!!!

Many Canadians will look at that title and say "What the fuck? We didn't even win a medal?" Yes, today, the Canadian Men's Olympic hockey team lost to Russia 2-0 in the quaterfinals. Not even a bronze medal for the boys of hockey from Canada. But yet, Canadian Hockey still won gold. Yes, the Canadian Women's Olympic hockey team. Yet here in Canada we immediately relate hockey success with the men's team only. In a country with such socially liberal values, it seems we are still quite sexist.

Let's set the way back machine for, oh, let's say four years ago. Both Women's and Men's hockey teams won Olympic gold. Living in Canada's armpit, being Windsor, Ontario at the time, I remember two distinct responses. After the women's gold medal win, most people I talked to had the response of "Cool. The women won gold. First time. Wow." A few days later, when the men won gold, however, the response was a bit different. As the game was on, the normally bustling streets of that little border city were nearly dead with the vacancy of people and cars, all the residents tucked inside somewhere watching the game. The moment the game was over, horns honked, people started to flood the streets. This culminated into a near 12 hour street party, making it's way to the redundantly named Detroit River. Yes, a definite difference in the overall response.

But isn't hockey Canada's game? I know, officially Lacrosse is our national game, though realistically, most Canucks will bond with hockey more strongly, and in greater numbers than Lacrosse. But bearing this in mind, the response to the genders is far different, the men getting more accolades for success, and in the case of the 2006 Torino games, more criticism for failure. But it doesn't stop there. I've never seen a street party for the World Juniors either. So what is it really about?

It seems this equation is embedded within us. NHL = Hockey. Period. Even after the greed of the players and owners caused us to miss an entire season, we are collectively enslaved by the league. It is really apparent in my former "home", though it never really felt like home. Too many "hockey" fans are just Leaf fans, and complained there was no hockey during the lockout. Not that Toronto has an AHL farm team, three OHL clubs within a very reasonable commute, amongst many other junior leagues.

Lets face it though. Canada did win gold in Torino for hockey. Being a true hockey fan, I shall celebrate the win for Canadian hockey, not just for Women's hockey. It is our sport, which our athletes are world class.

That is all.
neolithic pondered at 22:31
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