10 years ago an international sporting event helped unite a country, through numerous moments that were uniquely Canadian. Many Canadians remember exactly where they were during the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game, and remember the infamous call by Chris Cuthbert for TSN, however there were many other moments and stories around the 2010 Olympics that were uniquely Canadian. One such story is that of the crest for the Canadian hockey teams, which featured several icons and cultural symbols developed by Musqueam artist Debra Sparrow. The crest featured smaller Maple Leafs representing the Gold Medals won by the men's, women's, and sledge hockey teams, as well as a thunderbird and eagle supporting the Maple Leafs as both birds are very powerful First Nations symbols.
One of these unifying moments came on day 2 of the games, you may have briefly forgotten his name, but he was the first Canadian athlete to capture Olympic gold on home soil. The Olympics in Montreal in 1976, and Calgary in 1988 did not bring home the coveted gold medal, this inspired the Own The Podium program that was unveiled by the Canadian Olympic Committee. On day 2 in 2010, Men's Moguls Skiing captured the first of many gold medals in Vancouver, our hero was of course; Alex Bilodeau. Who may have been one of the forgotten names 10 years after the fact - but his name is etched in history forever, and one that when you read or hear you instantly remember the impact.
There is however, one amateur athlete whose moment in the spotlight after capturing gold made him an icon, as it showcased not only his personality and Canadian pride, it helped launch him to other ventures. Many Canadian men when asked "what would you want to do after winning an event or a game?" would likely answer with having a nice cold beer. That is exactly what Skeleton athlete Jon Montgomery did, after his big gold medal win he paraded down the streets of Vancouver and was promptly handed a pitcher of beer by a spectator - he proceeded to do what all of us would do after an exhausting day without much to drink, he chugged it. After this showcase of personality, and uniquely Canadian thirst quenching, Jon has since gone on to host the Amazing Race Canada among many other things.
2010 was also the Olympics that brought Canada one of it's biggest sweethearts in competition, and launched these two athletes into the spotlight and the hearts of Canadians everywhere. Of course, we are talking about Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir - the incredible Ice dancing duo that has captured multiple gold medals in Olympic and International competition for Canada. These two are now retired from competing, but were still at the top of their craft when they decided to do so and are widely regarded as one of the best ice dancing pairs ever.
The Vancouver Olympics in 2010, brought a whole country together and brought us so many memories that will last a lifetime. It is imperative when reflecting on the huge success that was Vancouver 2010, to not only remember how the games impacted you, but to also reflect on how many people in Canada and Worldwide were inspired by the games and each indivdual athlete.