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Wickenheiser to moralizers: 'Get real' about on-ice party

Fourth-Place Medal

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All's well that ends well. Team Canada is off the hook for its on-ice carousing following the women's hockey gold-medal game.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said there's no investigation. And he noted there had already been a quick apology from Hockey Canada.

One has to laugh at the IOC's blame-the-media quote: "To be honest I think people are in search of a story that doesn't exist."

It was an IOC official who said the celebration is "not what we want to see." Prejudging the players (you think they would be this paternalistic toward a men's hockey team?) instead of saying it was no big deal since it was no big deal, was what made it a minor story.

Update: Captain Hayley Wickenheiser has said, "get real."

"We were celebrating in our dressing room and it was two hours after the game and we've stepped out on the ice and thought nobody would be in the building and I really don't think it's a big deal."

"I think this is so common in sport to celebrate like that and to enjoy the moment, especially in hockey, it's kind of a tradition. The girls were doing nothing wrong, just taking some pictures."

That lines up with the feeling expressed Thursday night. Someone forwarded Wickenheiser's rebuttal to the amateurs at CTV Ottawa, which, not to single out one outlet, aired a report an hour ago that said the team was in "trouble" and that "one 18-year-old player was photographed holding a can of beer. The drinking age in British Columbia is 19." First of all, they know her name (Marie-Philip Poulin; she scored both goals), she never asked for nor needs to be offered anonymity. Also, 18 is the drinking age in her home province, Quebec, and she turns 19 in four weeks. A lightbulb isn't going to magically go on then.

This was not an "error in judgment," but something that's part of the sport. Anyone who says otherwise is just imposing their life standard, ironically not unlike CTV's Darren Dutchyshen did early in the Games when he walked on set with champagne while Alexandre Bilodeau and his family were being interviewed.

The IOC started it, though, and good for Wickenheiser for finishing it.

In the modern way, the players were supported by a Canadian celebrity. Given the circumstances, it's best to get someone who knows from good times — the musician Alan Doyle.

"The party girls have got a thumbs-up from the lead singer of Celtic rock band Great Big Sea.

"Singer Alan Doyle ... compared being on a hockey team to being in a band, saying you have to celebrate the good days to make the bad ones worth it."

Damn right. Today is Newfoundland and Labrador Day at the Games — that's why Doyle was available for comment.

Knowing that now, Team Canada should have procured a bottle of Screech for its celebration. You haven't lived until you've been screeched-in on George Street in St. John's. Just ask Conan O'Brien.

Can we safely say the IOC was being a little killjoy about the jubiliation over a well-earned medal?

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