What a finish, eh? Games start slow, end with patriotic rush - Metro US

What a finish, eh? Games start slow, end with patriotic rush

What a finish, eh?

Canada closed out the Vancouver Games by first raising the fourth arm of the Olympic cauldron in a humorous bit that symbolized overcoming adversity.

There were plenty during the 2010 Games, ranging from the unusual lack of snow on Cypress Mountain to glitches with the environmentally friendly Olympia ice resurfacing machines at the Richmond Oval.

In a Herculean effort, organizers trucked in snow from the Callaghan Valley and brought in a Zamboni from Calgary.

And questions about the country’s $117-million investment in the “Own the Podium” program were answered with a gold rush over the last few days that gave Canada 14 gold medals — the most ever won by any country in a Winter Olympics.

The final gold? It was the one that mattered the most — hockey gold. Canada beat out its new arch-nemesis, the United States, in a thrilling 3-2 overtime game that saw up to 200,000 people flood downtown Vancouver in red, cheering, yelling and ringing cow bells.

An impromptu street hockey game even broke out in the downtown neighbourhood of Yaletown using our newspaper boxes as goalposts. That was the most Canadian thing that could’ve happened to our Metro Vancouver box.

At the end of Sunday, when the closing ceremonies ended and the smell of the fireworks was still lingering in the air, people hung around a little bit longer than usual. But that was it.

The Games are over, Canada owns the top spot on the podium and visitors are going home. Canadians are usually reserved, but hopefully the Vancouver Olympics thought us to promote ourselves a little more. We have a lot to show off, including 14 gold medals.

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