There wasn’t a soul in Canada that did not watch the final hockey game at the Olymics this past Sunday. Everyone had their eyes and ears locked onto their television sets. It was an intense game and at one point victory did not seem so certain. But Team Canada finally delivered and the nation went crazy!

Crazy is an appropriate word to describe the atmosphere in pretty much every street across the country. The magnitude at which celebrations took place was phenomenal. People were out in the streets cheering and screaming, singing O’ Canada, honking…doing pretty much anything they could to express how happy and proud they were. For a quiet peace loving nation that sight is a little unusual. Either ways, it was an incredible experience. I’ve never seen anything like it and I am not sure if anything of that magnitude has happened in recent history. Honestly, I don’t think it’ll happen again either.

So it got me thinking. What was it that made Sunday nights game so special. Obviously it wasn’t just another Olympic hockey game. We’ve won Olympic hockey gold medals in the past but something was different about this one. I’ve boiled it down to a number of things. One was certainly the fact that it was against the Americans. I don’t think it would have meant as much if it was against some small European country. For political reasons this is never verbalized, but there is a part of every Canadian’s heart that secretly hates the USA (perhaps I can expand on that in another post lol). Another factor was that Canada was playing for its record 14th gold medal. Other factors include the fact that the game was being played on home soil…or ice as was the case and it was the last event of the 2010 Olympics. Also, the game was on a Sunday which basically meant you had no excuse to miss it.

The power of a sport to unite an entire nation is extremely fascinating. It didn’t matter if you were a hockey fan or not, you were a part of the celebrations. Its amazing to know that everyone experienced the exact same thing at the exact same time across the entire country. The only other I can think of that unites people to such an extent is war… or perhaps a natural disaster of some sort. Interestingly enough both are quite grotesque.

So I guess its been proven once again… Hockey is Canada’s Game!