Seven reasons among many why Canadians are ecstatic about two gold medals Friday night in short-track speedskating — Charles Hamelin in 500 meters and the men's 5,000 meters team of Hamelin, brother François Hamelin, Olivier Jean and François-Louis Tremblay (who also won the 500 bronze).
1. Where is the coffee? The relay team were great closers, leading for the last 21 laps of a 28-lap race. That was nails, especially since it was a five-team final and lots of skaters on the ice.
2. The great group of dudes. The three medals got the Canadian men up to six, with at least three more to come over the weekend (Kevin Martin's curling team, men's team pursuit in speedskating and men's hockey). That evens up the gender ratio and assures Canada of tying its record of 24 medals, set in Turin.
3. The bond of brothers. Perhaps Charles Hamelin could have done this without his brother François' presence, but we'll never have to wonder.
4. Apolo Ohno whining. It's not you, Apolo, it's us. Winning at the expense of an American superstar is a cherry on the sundae. You have to love his accusation of bias: "You know, it's the head Canadian referee and there were two Canadians out there."
Please, a Canadian referree is in no way unfair, compared to the U.S. Olympic Committee getting $255 million U.S. tossed its way by the IOC before every Games to fund its athletes. How is that fair?
5. Sticking it to hipsters. Some wiseacre at the Houston Chronicle said Charles Hamelin resembled "Sloth from the 'Ice Age' movies." Ice age might apply better to the great run Quebec short-trackers have had winning medals for Canada and their province since 1992.
6. No shutout. An Olympics without a short-track gold for Canada is like Kool and no gang. In a span of a half-hour, they got two.
- Charles Hamelin