It was a momentous victory that united a country in pride and passion, cementing Canada’s position atop the hockey world and proving once and for all that hockey is Canada’s game. On , with millions of fans on the edge of their seats, Canada defeated the United States 5-2 at the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City to capture Canada’s first men’s Olympic hockey gold medal in 50 years. More than seven years later, this moment remains etched in the memories of all Canadians, and was voted by fans as the No. 1 Canadian Olympic Winter Games moment of all time.
Coming in at No. 2 was Canada’s National Women’s Team’s own 2002 Olympic gold, which came one day before the men’s historic win. The 3-2 win over the United States gave Canada its first gold medal in women’s hockey, and a measure of revenge for the loss to the Americans four years earlier in Nagano, Japan.
The top three moments – speed skater Cindy Klassen’s five-medal performance in Turin, Italy in 2006 took third spot – will be featured on 25-cent coins as part of the Royal Canadian Mint’s extensive circulation program commemorating the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Each coin will have a distribution of 22 million, with three million of each in brilliant colour. The No. 1 men’s hockey coin enters into circulation on September 29, followed by the No. 2 women’s hockey coin on November 17 and the No. 3 Cindy Klassen coin on January 5.
Voting for the top 10 Canadian Olympic Winter moments began in February at CTVOlympics.ca and RDSolympiques.ca. Fans were also encouraged to share their memories about each moment. Two lucky Canadians were randomly selected as the grand prize winners and will receive a trip for two to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
The top 10 Canadian Olympic Winter Games moments, as voted by Canadians, are:
#1 Men’s Hockey Team – gold medal, Salt Lake City 2002
#2 Women’s Hockey Team – gold medal, Salt Lake City 2002
#3 Cindy Klassen – one gold medal, two silver medals and two bronze medals, long track speed skating, Turin 2006
#4 Jamie Salé and David Pelletier – gold medal, figure skating, Salt Lake City 2002
#5 Catriona Le May Doan – gold medal, long track speed skating, Salt Lake City 2002
#6 Clara Hughes – gold medal, long track speed skating, Turin 2006
#7 Nancy Greene – gold medal and silver medal, alpine skiing, Grenoble 1968
#8 Gaétan Boucher – two gold medals and one bronze medal, long track speed skating, Sarajevo 1984
#9 Beckie Scott – gold medal, cross-country skiing, Salt Lake City 2002
#10 Marc Gagnon – gold medal, short track speed skating, Salt Lake City 2002