The 2010 Winter Olympic Games came to a joyous close yesterday for Canada and for the United States. The Canadian men's ice hockey team beat the Americans in a 3-2 victory in a game that went into overtime. When Sidney Crosby hit the puck through the legs of American Ryan Miller to score the winning goal, fans in their red-and-white jerseys—the national colors of Canada—jumped from their seats and yelled, "Go, Canada!" There were hugs, cheers and tears of happiness both at the rink and across the nation as citizens celebrated the win.
Last Thursday, the Canadian women's ice-hockey team also won gold, defeating the Americans. Hockey is Canada's national sport, so these two big wins were extra special for fans. By the end of the 17-day Games, Canada had won 14 gold medals, the most of any nation competing at the Games.
Team U.S.A. Wins Big
The United States team also had reason to cheer. American athletes came in first in overall medals with a total of 37—more than the U.S. has ever won at a Winter Olympics. "It has felt like a home Games for us," speed-skating star Apolo Ohno said. "I think that's part of the reason why we're doing so well."
How did the other nations do? Germany placed second with 30 medals overall and Canada came in third with 26 medals. Norway, Korea and France were also among the top 10 medal-winning countries.
The Party's Over
At yesterday's closing ceremony at B.C. Place, the huge indoor stadium in Vancouver where the Games opened on February 12, athletes marched in with their teammates. Then, in a sign of friendship, respect and unity, athletes from different countries came together in the stadium. No longer competing, they were there to celebrate their shared accomplishments. Canadian-born singers Alanis Morrissette, Avril Lavigne and Michael Buble got the 60,000 people in the audience on their feet and dancing. Fireworks filled the sky, ending one of the biggest events that Canada has ever hosted.
What's ahead? The Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games begin will take place March 12 through 21. Athletes with disabilities compete in these Games. Then, Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls have four years to get ready for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.