EDMONTON – While an Olympic gold medal is the ultimate symbol of athletic achievement, it's not exactly the easiest fashion accessory to wear around town.
The Canadian men's and women's hockey teams no longer have that problem.
Both teams picked up their rings on Monday marking their double gold victory in Vancouver earlier this year.
The big, fat, diamond-encrusted pieces of hand hardware with the Olympic logo in the centre were handed out as part of Hockey Canada's ‘Canada Celebrates’ ceremony in the Alberta capital.
“It's always nice to get a ring,” Sidney Crosby said with a smile. “It's always a real good sign.”
Hayley Wickenheiser said the women have, in the past, opted for smaller rings than the men. This time they went all out.
“I don't know how often I am going to wear it,” she said with a laugh, looking down at the glittering monstrosity on her right hand.
“But it is a beautiful ring to display.”
The two teams were honoured Monday afternoon by a few thousand fans at Commonwealth Stadium.
The fans donned their Canada jerseys and waved flags as the players walked the length of the field through a throng and up on stage for the nationally televised event.
The crowd was largely swallowed up by a stadium built to hold tens of thousands more, but they still cheered loudly as Crosby's gold-winning goal was shown on the big screen.
The leaders of the two teams rode into the stadium on military vehicles as a tribute to the Canada's troops and a CF-18 flew past after youngster Justin Wack sang the national anthem.
Hockey Canada charged $10 a head to get into the event with the proceeds going to the Hockey Canada Foundation.
Jonathan Toews, one of three Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on the gold medal team, admitted he will have a bit of a dilemma when he gets his Cup ring later this year.
“I don't know if I can fit them both on my hand at the same time they are so big,” he said.
“I'll have to trade off nights I guess.”
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