Jon Montgomery went down the course in Whistler faster than Canadians have backed off the idea of owning the podium.
Montgomery winning men's skeleton for Canada's fourth gold of the Games (twice as many as the first week in Turin) was cause for celebration. Still, wondering about the country winning the most gold medals at the Games will probably be dismissed as crazy talk. Minds seem firmly clenched. One of the country's best sportswriters, Bruce Arthur captured the mood last night: "I'm calling it — there is no way Canada is owning the podium in these Olympics. Aim for second, people."
Please look ahead at the Games' second week. To reiterate a point that's a whole 24 hours old, it is backloaded with events that are in Canada's wheelhouse. Five of the country's seven golds in Turin came from the second weekend on.
The order of events at the Winter Olympics is all about the TV ratings. Accounting for mild weather is also a concern, though not so much that the IOC would avoid putting the Games in Canada's warmest city.
Freestyle skiing and snowboarding are a good fit for the first days since they lure younger viewers and casual fans in hopes they'll become habitual viewers. A need-for-speed sport such as Alpine skiing is also held early on in case of weather issues. Team sports such as hockey, which need close to two weeks for a proper tournament, are a big ratings draw later in the Games.
It just happens that the scheduling plays into the United States' hands, especially with its Alpine team enjoying a Salt Lake City bump, with six medals already. It's helped Canada less, but there's plenty of time when you look at it, sport by sport.
Curling: Kevin Martin and the men's team (5-0) have been dialed in from the outset. On the women's side, Canada's Cheryl Bernard (also 4-0) has been in nip-tuck games all week, including two extra-end wins, but hasn't faltered.
Ice dancing: The Canadian pair of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (second after the compulsory portion which won't be missed four years from now in Sochi, Russia) have a medal shot; USA Today even has them to win.
Figure skating: It strains credulity to believe Joannie Rochette could win in women's singles, but she might eke out a bronze. If Yu-na Kim wins, does it count in Canada's total, since she trains in Toronto?
Snowboarding: Try finding anyone who isn't taking Jasey-Jay Anderson to win parallel giant slalom.
Short-track speedskating: Charles Hamelin and Francois-Louis Tremblay are favoured in the men's 500, which takes place next Friday. The 5,000 relay, if you read most projections, is a Canada-Korea duel.
Hockey: Has it been mentioned that anything less than a men's hockey gold would be a major letdown?
Medals don't come in a steady trickle. Four years ago, Canada had a pair of four-medal days, both later on the Games. Do we need Conan O'Brien to issue a reminder about cynicism and have Phil Esposito fly up from Florida to call out the entire country like he did in Vancouver 38 years ago?
Four Canadian gold medals in the first full week, given the Games' calendar, is a promising start. Montgomery delivered a swift reminder, no doubt about it.