Podium: Owned.

Canada has won 14 gold medals, more than any other country ever in an Olympic Winter Games.

Physically, there are 69 actual gold medals (23 in men’s hockey, 23 in women’s hockey, five in curling, four in short-track men’s relay, three in speed-skating team pursuit, two in women’s bobsleigh, two in ice dancing, and seven individual gold medals) spread among 68 gold medallists, including double-gold-medallist Charles Hamelin.

The 26 total medals is more than Canada has won at any previous Winter Olympics (more than any Olympics except for the boycotted 1984 Games in Los Angeles), and the third spot on the medal count behind the United States and Germany is the highest Canada has ever been in that ranking.

Own the Podium may have had the unrealistic goal of Canada having more total medals than any other country, but I don’t think anyone would argue now that it wasn’t successful.

Canada reached for the stars, and though it didn’t get there, if the consolation prize is a sea of gold, we’ll take it.

19 thoughts on “Podium: Owned.

  1. jon

    The irony is every other country but Canada and the USA already sorts Olympic medal tables by number of gold medals won. Check the BBC site for example.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      It used to be that sorting by gold was the “official” way it was done, but most of the media did it by total medals (particularly those whose countries looked better as a result). Now I find most media order by total medals first, and that’s the default way on the official website too. The BBC looks like more of an exception now.

      Reply
      1. Josh

        “Yet the rest of the world outside North America has always recognised that the champion nation is that which wins most golds, and in this category there was no contest, Canada’s 14 eclipsing Germany’s 10 and America’s nine.”

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/winter-olympics/7340355/Winter-Olympics-2010-Sidney-Crosby-hands-Canada-ice-hockey-gold-over-rivals-USA.html

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/winter-olympics/7248639/Winter-Olympics-2010-medal-table.html

        http://wwos.ninemsn.com.au/vancouver-olympics/

        http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/winter-olympics/

        http://www.vancouver2010.rai.it/dl/raisport/sezioni/Page-5ee269ae-ade3-4283-9b4d-61ca504c7fee-light.html

        http://svt.se/2.126948/os_2010?lid=OS_2010&from=menu
        (about halfway down the page)

        I am getting the sense that Canada and the US, not the BBC, are the exceptions here.

        Reply
  2. Marc

    Physically, there are 69 actual gold medals (23 in men’s hockey, 23 in women’s hockey, five in curling, four in short-track men’s relay, three in speed-skating team pursuit, two in women’s bobsleigh, two in ice dancing, and seven individual gold medals) spread among 68 gold medallists, including double-gold-medallist Charles Hamelin.

    For that very reason is why the medal count is irrelevant. I hope those who were whining and carrying on about us having a few medals a week and a half ago have eaten their words. If the medal count is really what mattered, then we’d focus less effort into hockey and more into individual sports.

    Reply
  3. Karine

    Interesting, you use the IOC’s method of rankin by gold medals as opposed to American way of counting the total number of medals. Funny thing is, the paper version of Saturday’s La Presse switched to it after using the American method since the beginning.

    I’ll admit: I was one of those people complaining about the lack of success last weekend, but at least we did better then great and winning god at hockey was the icing on the cake. To many athletes to point out but to me, I think JJ Anderson should have carried the flag.

    Reply
  4. Fassero

    If you really think about it, if not for some untimely injuries to the women’s alpine team just before the Games, Canada basically hit it’s target.

    That being said, Canada spent more than twice what the US invested to “own the podium” and the US, for all intents and purposes, was financed privately. Never mind it’s really embarrassing that what I’ve suspected all along became true – nobody in Canada gives a rat’s patootie what the country accomplished overall; as long as it won that men’s hockey gold. Maybe for the next winter games, we can just budget about $2 million and use at least half it to kidnap Ryan Miller and brainwash him into staying on this side of Niagara Falls.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Men’s hockey was clearly the most popular individual sport at the Games, and the organizers realized that in scheduling the gold medal final as the last event. But I don’t think you can conclude from this that we don’t care about the other sports. I certainly paid attention to a lot of them, from speed skating to curling to ski jumping.

      Reply
      1. Antonio

        “Men’s hockey was clearly the most popular individual sport at the Games, and the organizers realized that in scheduling the gold medal final as the last event. But I don’t think you can conclude from this that we don’t care about the other sports. I certainly paid attention to a lot of them, from speed skating to curling to ski jumping.”

        That is not the gist from the average Canadian. To them, it is all about winning Olympic gold in ice hockey. The rest of the medals won is just icing on the cake. It is pathetic really because ice hockey is not a sport that the rest of the world cares about. Only in Canada is ice hockey truly the uncontested #1 sport. The only other countries in which ice hockey is very popular are small countries with a poulation of of 5 million or so like Finland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic. Not even in Russia is ice hockey the #1 sport. Where is the glory in winning in a sport that the rest of the world doesn’t care about.

        That said, I love ice hockey and I find it a disgrace about the few Quebecers in Team Canada. Don’t we form about 24% of the population of Canada? I would like to see if Team Canada could still win gold in ice hockey if they had to face an Équipe Québec.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          I think Russia would disagree about your implication that hockey isn’t important there. During their presentation in Vancouver, two of the four people they had waving to the crowd were hockey stars: Alexander Ovechkin and Vladislav Tretiak. And a large part of Russia’s disappointment with the Games came out of their hockey team losing in the quarterfinal.

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        2. Josh

          Canada would be decent in net without Quebec (Cam Ward is no slouch when he’s on his game, and Marty Turco is getting older, but he’s still top 20 in the NHL in save %), but would retain the rest of the team.

          Quebec would be able to roll three or maybe four good forward lines, but who would be on defence for a Team Québec? That’s where Quebec would find itself in trouble.

          Reply
          1. Antonio

            Quebec defensemen include Stéphane Robidas, François Beauchemin, Kristopher Letang, Marc-Édouard Vlasic and so on.

            According to Wikipedia, there are 7 hockey powers in the world. Four of these 7 hockey powers have populations comparable to Quebec: Finland has a population of 5 million; Sweden – 9 million; Czech Republic – 10 million; Slovakia – 5 million.

            Since Quebec has a population of 7 million and is passionate about ice hockey, it deserves to have its own hockey team in the Olympics and other international competitions.

            I would like to see how a Équipe Québec would do in competition. That can only happen if Quebec is rightfully an independent country instead of being subsumed in Canada.

            Reply
      2. Fassero

        I’m not so sure the organizers had anything to do with the hockey scheduling. I can’t even remember the last time a gold medal Olympic hockey was not played on the last day of the games. Salt Lake in 2002 was absolutely on a Sunday afternoon as was Turino. I do recall bronze medal games preceding the gold medal one and perhaps the scheduling of that on the Saturday night this year was a difference. I do know NBC has a HUGE say in scheduling which is why, for instance, figure skating finals have been delieberatly scheduled so the US can run it live on the east coast in prime time.

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      3. Josh

        I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that the gold medal game in men’s hockey and the 50 km mass-start cross-country race are always scheduled for the last day of the games.

        (The 50 km race is the winter equivalent of the marathon, basically, and the marathon always concludes the competition in the summer games.)

        Reply
  5. Jean Naimard

    Back in 1976, Guy crap is good as sexFournier in his weekly humoristic column in Perspectives (a weekly that was published in La Praïsse, back then) joked that when he was a kid, and visitors were on their way, they always were told to be “nice to the visitors” by letting them win at whatever games they would play, so the same comment should apply to the olympic games, which would explain why Canada would not win all the gold medals…
    It seems that in 2010, Canada did not follow his advice.

    Reply
  6. Jacques from Laprairie

    I did some internet searching for news websites from other countries and found most countries who are not the USA and CANADA used the gold medals first ranking table.

    In most cases where i did happen to see a US style medals table ranked by totals the websites tended to be international editions of US news media outlets

    RAH RAH RAH Americans!! you`re chanting WE`RE NUMBER 1 to being mostly second and 3rd

    Jacques

    Reply
  7. Josh

    @Antonio: The problem with that kind of reasoning is that Quebec still isn’t a nation-state. The difference between Sweden, the Czech Republic, Finland, Slovakia and Quebec is that only one of those entities lacks its own embassies, its own military and its own head of state. Maybe you wanna focus on working towards those things, and *then* worry about how good Équipe Québec might do in the Olympics? Just a thought.

    And I realize that there are actually defensemen who come from Québec, my point was that they aren’t of the same calibre as the defensemen who come from English Canada. I’ll take Pronger, Niedermayer, Shea Weber and Drew Doughty versus your four any day. ;)

    Reply
    1. Antonio

      Which is why I said Quebec should be an independant country.

      As for your comment that English Canada defensemen are presently better than those from Quebec, why don’t we play the games and see. We can’t because Quebec isnot allowed to have its own team in international competitions.

      Reply

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