VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – From Sydney Crosby’s golden goal to Alex Bilodeau winning Canada’s first gold medal on home soil and Joannie Rochette’s emotional bronze in figure skating, memorable Olympic moments are being celebrated in the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame’s Vancouver 2010 Gallery.
Jason Beck, curator of the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, remembers skeleton racer Jon Montgomery chugging a pitcher of beer on his way to collect his gold medal.
Then there was the “Snow Leopard,” the first athlete from Ghana to compete in a Winter Olympics and who placed 53rd.
What about the Norwegian curling team’s argyle pants?
“That’s what makes the Olympics so great,” Beck said. “You get this concentrated, two-week window where, you know, every day there is a new star, a new athlete [who] is discovered.”
The hall-of-fame gallery commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Winter Games in Vancouver.
— Perry Solkowski (@psolkowski) February 11, 2020
The nation celebrated in unison when Crosby took a feed from Jerome Iginla and scored from low in the left faceoff circle on Ryan Miller to break a 2-2 tie at 7:40 of overtime, giving Canada a 3-2 win over the U.S. on Feb. 28, 2010 – the last day of the Olympics.
Just days earlier, Marie Philip-Poulin scored twice in the first period to lead Canada to its third consecutive gold medal with a 2-0 win over the U.S. Members of the Canadian team then celebrated on the ice, drinking cans of beer and smoking cigars.
Bilodeau won gold in men’s moguls at Cypress Mountain, then celebrated his victory with his older brother Frederic, who has cerebral palsy.
Rochette took bronze in women’s figure skating despite losing her mother two days before the event. Thérèse Rochette had just arrived to watch her daughter compete and passed away from a heart attack in Vancouver General Hospital before the ladies’ short program began.
“Everyone knew that she had lost her mother, and that she could go out and compete was very poignant,” said author Kate Bird, a reporter at the time and who has since written a couple of books about B.C. sports history.
The Olympics saw another tragedy on the first day when Georgian luge competitor Nodar Kumaritashvili died in a crash during a training run in Whistler.
Lack of snow was a concern prior to the Games, but Bird added the weather during the Games was “gorgeous.”
She also recalls when Maëlle Ricker took gold in the women’s snowboard cross event.
“That was amazing because Maëlle, you know, was from North Vancouver and she won her gold medal in North Vancouver. So it was an amazing moment.”
Admission to see the gallery at the The B.C. Sports Hall of Fame is free on Family Day, Feb. 17.