The Olympic Journey

  • January 8, 2016

On Monday, January 11, Rogers Arena will host another #20in20 game night.

As the Canucks take on Roberto Luongo and the Panthers, we will also take a look back at the 2010 Olympics, and celebrate the many accomplishments that were made right here—inside Rogers Arena.

 

The Midas Touch

By Erica Lamb

In the blink of an eye, everything can change – a pot can boil over, the light can turn green, Sidney Crosby can score the game-winning goal.

At 5:30pm on February 28th, 2010, the Vancouver Olympics came to a close after two weeks of intense dedication and sportsmanship. With the third highest overall medal count and the largest number of gold medals won, Canada had done itself proud as the host country of the games. Never was there a better time to be a Canadian – a fact solidified by the event held at Rogers Arena just before the Olympics came to a close.

Known at the time as Canada Hockey Place, the arena had served as the venue for the pinnacle of the Winter Olympic events: the hockey tournament. At capacity on February 28th, a mere 18,000 privileged fans anxiously awaited the 12:15pm puck drop of the 2010 Olympic Gold Medal Hockey game. Thousands more spilled onto the streets of Vancouver, and across the country millions were tuned in to their television sets. Of all the Olympic sporting events, this was the game to watch.

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 28: A lone USA fan finds himself in a sea of Team Canada hockey fans as they celebrate at Robson and Burrard Streets during Canada's 3-2 overtime victory over the USA to win the ice hockey men's gold medal game on day 17 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics on February 28, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

With a loonie entrenched at centre ice and the stands a flood of maple leaves, Team Canada stood with the nation at its side, ready to face Team USA in a matchup of the ages. Having surrendered a game to the Americans early in the tournament, a rivalry had been struck that only served to heighten the intensity. Both teams had fought brilliantly to earn their place in the final, and a formidable battle was anticipated for the gold.

As the puck dropped, there was a collective inhale. Viewers refused to blink lest they miss one coveted moment of the game that defined the nation. Drawing a viewership of 26.5 million people across Canada, it became the most watched event in Canadian television history.

“That’s one of the greatest sports events I have ever seen,” NBC Olympic host Bob Costas said after the fact. “A script so classic that if it were a movie, they would send it back because it was unrealistic.”

Despite entering the third period with a 2-1 advantage, fans were kept in a perpetual stance, poised half on, half off their seats. In a game that had been unlike any other, Team USA cemented their position in the final with only 24.4 seconds left on the clock.

“The momentum shifted to their advantage… but you could tell the leaders that we had,” said Patrice Bergeron of his Canadian teammates. “The guys were just poised and relaxed… really all that was said is, ‘We just need one goal for history.’”

After a tense 7:40 of a 4-on-4 overtime, the team gave the world what it had been waiting for. As pandemonium broke out in the arena, boys on the bench were still in shock. Crosby had scored the golden goal, and for the first time in Olympic history, Team Canada had won the hockey tournament on home ice.

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 28: Sidney Crosby #87 of Canada celebrates with teammate Scott Niedermayer #27 after Crosby scored the match-winning goal in overtime during the ice hockey men's gold medal game between USA and Canada on day 17 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place on February 28, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

 

Red and white flooded the streets of Vancouver, and the Canadian national anthem rang in every city across the country as fans raised their voices amidst the cheers and celebrations. As the team did their victory lap at the arena, Roberto Luongo trailed a monumental fan-made Canadian flag befitting of the moment. The golden game of Canada had just received the Midas Touch in a game not soon to be forgotten by the nation or the world.

 

 


Tickets for #20in20 The Olympic Journey


 

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