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Editorials

Make that a double- double

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/2/2014 (915 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Urban Dictonary defines a "double-double" as a quintessentially "Canadian term used to describe how you take your coffee -- two teaspoons of sugar and two creams." In Sochi Olympic terms, the definition might be expanded to mean two gold medals in two sports Canadians have embraced as quintessentially their own -- curling and hockey -- winning gold in both the men's and women's competitions.

To be sure, Canada had much more to be proud of. Its athletes collected 25 medals -- 10 gold, 10 silver and five bronze, one short of their high-water mark in Vancouver four years ago. It was enough hardware, however, to place third overall behind second-place Norway (11-5-10) and first-place, host-nation Russia (13-11-9).

DALE CUMMINGS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Medals came everywhere for Canada -- at the figure-skating venues, on the ski and snowboard slopes and on the icy chutes of the bobsled tracks.

But it was on the rinks -- the curling and hockey rinks -- that Canada claimed its unique place in the pantheon of winter sports.

It started with Manitoba's own rock stars, the Jennifer Jones rink, which won 11 straight games to secure gold and set a record that can only be equalled but never surpassed.

The women's hockey team followed with an astonishing come-from-behind upset of the Americans in overtime.

Ontario's Brad Jacobs rink, after a rocky start, found its form and defeated Britain in a rout for gold.

Then, in the final medal event of the Games, Canada defeated Sweden 3-0 to take gold undefeated with a performance that truly defined "team" spirit and completed the double-double Canadians had hoped to savour.

And so ended the most expensive Olympics in history, a $50-billion extravaganza. During a spectacular closing ceremony, Dmitry Chernyshenko, head of the Sochi organizing committee, declared that the Games defined contemporary Russia. "This is the new face of Russia -- our Russia," he said.

But it's only one face. At his side was Russia's odious president, Vladimir Putin, the anti-gay crusader whose meddling in Ukrainian affairs even as the Games were going on made him complicit in the deaths of scores of people on the streets of Kyiv.

Two faces for Russia -- a double-single.

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