Tears are not enough.
Much of Canada, judging by a Twitter-based instapoll, wanted to give Mellisa Hollingsworth a shoulder to cry on after she fell prey to Whistler Sliding Centre's notorious Turn 2, lost time and dropped from a silver-medal position to fifth in women's skeleton Friday night at the Whistler Sliding Centre.
"It's really hard," a teary Hollingworth told CTV. "I feel like I've let my entire country down. Obviously my friends and my family, I know they love me regardless but everyone in VANOC, Own The Podium, my entire federation, they've done so much for me. I just didn't do it."
What a way to end the first week for Canada, pending Jon Montgomery's result in men's skeleton.
It was compounded by coming early on a Friday evening with more people at home watching, expecting a medal that would help the country inch a little closer to the top of the medal count. It followed the Canadian Olympic Committee backpedalling to scale down expectations. In other words, Hollingsworth was set up, and then she made a couple big mistakes, which lets people believe whatever they wish about her.
So, it would probably misread the room to play up one irony. Some creeky Brits tweaked Canada earlier in the week for being more focused on winning the most medals than hosting the competition. Now Canadian fans' solace, notwithstanding any official protests about her helmet, is being happy for Amy Williams, who won Great Britain's first Winter Games individual gold medal in 30 years.
Nate Silver still believes the gold medal race isn't over, since medals are still up for grabs in curling, hockey and both long- and short-track speedskating, Canada's strengths. Take a little time for the zing-go-the-heartstrings part. It was a shame for Hollingsworth, but so it goes in a sport where one inch one way or the other is everything.
- Whistler Sliding Centre