Canada can’t wait for that golden moment
Canada has a reputation as a slow starter at the Olympics, but the country may be poised to end a two-Games gold-medal drought on home soil … and it could even come on the first full day of competition.
There is so much excitement for that elusive gold medal that Canadian lugers have been offered a $1 million bonus from their title sponsor if they can earn a spot atop the podium.
Manuel Osborne-Paradis, who has a pair of recent victories on the World Cup circuit, will get the country’s first shot at ending the drought early on Saturday in downhill skiing.
But Canada’s best shot at striking gold that day will be with freestyle moguls skier Jenn Heil, who won a gold medal on the first day of competition in Turin four years ago and is expected to successfully defend her title.
The Canadian men’s ice hockey team are tipped by many to win a gold medal, but the finals for that event are not until Feb. 28. Other sports that could produce a gold medal for Canada include women’s hockey, men’s and women’s curling and speed skating.
At the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, Canadians didn’t win any medals until after the first week of competition.
And the CEO of Own the Podium — a $117 million five-year plan to help Canadian athletes dominate in the Summer and Winter Games — even said he did not expect Canada to challenge for the overall medals lead until the last few days of ther Games.
Canada hosted the 1976 Montreal Olympics and the 1988 Calgary Winter Games, failing on both occasions to win a gold medal. It remains the only country to host two Olympics without winning a gold medal at either.
It appears a gold medal this time around is not a question of if, but when.