So. The Olympics. As a member of the media I went to almost one event per day for 16 days in a row, huddled into pens with other print reporters sent to cover the Games but who knew little about the sports or the athletes. Hours went by like this. Sometimes there were televisions so we could watch what was happening elsewhere on the course, but most of the big screens for the spectators were not in the line of sight for reporters.
After watching an event, we'd do our interviews and then rush back to media tents where we'd plug in our laptops and write. Televisions lined the walls of the media areas showing the other events taking place that day. Because of those televisions I'd argue that I probably saw more of the Games than most people.
The athleticism was nothing short of incredible, whether it was watching Shaun White land the first Double McTwist in a snowboard halfpipe competition even though he had already clinched the gold medal, or Devon Kershaw sprinting to the finish line of the men's 50 km race, only to finish a fraction of a second off the podium and fall in an exhausted pile next to other racers who had pushed the limit of human endurance.
The Canadians were nothing short of impressive, winning 14 gold medals - a record for any nation at a Winter Games. Alex Bilodeau promised that his gold medal in men's moguls - the first won on home soil by any Canadian in three Olympics - was only the first and he was right. Canada won 26 medals in total, ranking third behind the U.S. and Germany.
Canadians were also in the hunt for medals, with top 10 results in a number of sports - sometimes missing the podium by tenths or hundredths of a second, or a fraction of a point. The women's curling team made one mistake that cost them the gold in an otherwise perfect run.
If all you paid attention to was medals you might have come away from the Games disappointed, but there were some great and inspirational performances by Canadians and moments that took your breath away.
In this Year of Sports, rather than give a month-by-month review of events that took place, I thought it was better to list highlights for sports, athletes and events.
Canada at the Olympics
After a slow start and international scorn for the Own The Podium program, the Canadian team caught fire with 14 gold medals, seven silver medals and five bronze. Usually it's the opposite, with countries winning the most bronze, more silvers and a few gold, but the Canadian athletes came into these Games with an all-or-nothing approach - some won it all, and many got nothing after taking some big risks.
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