Canada’s Time to Shine

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When the Olympics would set foot in Vancouver there was plenty of pressure on each and every Canadian athlete. It was a pressure from Canadian fans to not embarrass the country at home. It may seem like a bad thought to have but as a Canadian Olympic fan it is a common one as the country is not known for their athletic prowess. Canadians have not had the most success in the Olympics as they constantly underperform when the lights get bright. So as Vancouver approached the thought was the same as a winter country like Canada could not be held with few medals on their home soil. It was even more pressure in the fact that there had yet to be a gold medal on Canadian soil in two Olympic games. It was to the point where that was not going to be accepted anymore if they could not get a gold medal in Vancouver. It wouldn’t take long for that to happen though as the nation would breathe a sigh of relief on the first day when Alexandre Bilodeau would earn Canada’s first gold medal of the games. Then the rush would start as the Canadian fans were far from disappointed in the performance of their athletes. This time it was different as the Canadians would continue to rack up medal totals and would end the games with the most gold medals out of any nation. They would earn 14 gold medals and 26 medals in total which would be more gold medals than expected but less medals than their goal at the beginning of the Olympics. Vancouver was also a transformative event for Canadians and sports in Canada. Never has there been an event in Canadian sports that would bring the country closer together and make them more proud to be Canadians. It was one of the most important events in Canadian history and remains a time that people look back to as the time when Canada came together. Although this would not translate to a great performance in the Summer Games in 2012 Canada is back in the season that they are most comfortable in. They have never been a summer country as it is the great White North where winter is just something that happens every year rather than being a shock. It is a nation where Canadians have gone outside and figured out ways to stay active in temperatures below zero. It is the season that Canadians seem to know how to handle better than many and a season that Canadians thrive in year after year. So the Winter is back and the Winter Olympics are ready to take centre stage and Canadian athletes are looking to be even better than in Vancouver to once again impress and give Canadians a reason to cheer.

The Canadians will enter the Sochi Olympics with plenty of members looking to take gold medals. There are the old standbys and the newcomers and all are looking to have their own impact on the sport and the Olympics. More than ever Canadians can count as favorites in many of the sports this year and they are all hoping to achieve their potential. Of course some sports take over the games for Canadians and that can all be linked to the national sport. Hockey is king in Canada and the men and women will once again be going for gold. There is a lot of pressure on both teams to win the gold medal in Sochi as nothing less is expected. As hockey will take the focus for the majority of the Olympics there are plenty more sports that Canada will look to take gold medal. In figure skating there is Patrick Chan and the ice dancing team of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. These athletes will go for the gold in their own sports while also putting together one of the strongest teams in the Figure Skating competition. There will also be the debut of Mark McMorris in the Olympics as one of the favorites to take home a gold medal. He has been one of the standouts in the X-Games and with the introduction of Slopestyle in the Olympics there is a chance that the kid from the flattest province in the country could win a medal on the hill. The other face of the Olympics this year will be the defending champion in the women’s bobsleigh. Kaillie Humphries will have a lot of pressure on her to repeat as the gold medalist but she can handle it after a great few years on the world stage. There are also the comeback stories of the Olympics for Canadians and none would be better than that of Eric Guay who was touted as one of the best bets for a gold on the hill in Vancouver but would fail to medal in any competition. This past year has been one of his best on the world stage and he will look to translate that success into the gold medal that many thought he would earn in 2010. There are a number of favorites on the Canadian team this year and there are bound to be surprises as Canada is back in its natural habitat and ready to move to the top of the medal standings.

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