No one did a throat-slash gesture (that was us: Phil Esposito, 1972), kicked an opposing player (that was them), took out the other team's best forward (us again), started a bench-clearing brawl to get the other team kicked out of a tournament (them), or told the winning team it couldn't keep its championship trophy (ya, that was us).
It was just a sports event.
But not to Pravda, which, on the eve of the game, ripped Canada a new one. Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star gets credit for the find: a piece by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey called, wait for it, "Vancouver: Mutton Dressed As Lamb."
We all know Canada has problems with the future lines drawn on Arctic maps and we all know Canada lives in the shadow of its larger neighbour to the south. The abject cruelty shown by Canadian soldiers in international conflicts is scantily referred to, as indeed is the utter incapacity of this [country] to host a major international event, due to its inferiority complex, born of a trauma being the skinny and weakling bro to a beefy United States and a colonial outpost to the United Kingdom, whose Queen smiles happily from Canadian postage stamps.
Maybe it is this which makes the Canadians so … retentive, or cowardly. So it is not exactly a huge surprise to have international skating experts from the four corners of the Earth criticising the decision to award the Men’s figure skating Gold medal to the US athlete Evan [Lysacek] over the reigning Olympic Champion Evgeny Plushenko, whose superior performance was inexplicably ignored.
Whhaaaaaa? Anyone who can find a tie between an undeserved and unproved attack on Canada's military and the results of men's figure skating, please share whatever you've been taking with the group.
The Times of London noted Russia is raring for 2014, when it will host the Games in Sochi, and "the volume is on full." Meanwhile, Russia is having a hard time handling its hard fall from the top, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
As of Thursday, Russia stood in fifth place overall, with 13 medals, three of them gold. That puts it far behind the front-running US, which has garnered 28 medals, including seven golds. ...
"Political meaning is seen in the Olympics, and now it looks like we are failing in the world arena," says Mikhail Delyagin, an expert with the independent Institute of Globalization in Moscow. "It seems like, in Russia, they shout from every rooftop that (prime minister Vladimir) Putin's plan is a plan for victory. But what do we see? All the boasts about our team proved to be empty words."
It's not working out for their team, so it's time to make fun of someone else because their bias wasn't confirmed. It's like an entire nation that fits the stereotypes of Boston sports fans, but with more alcohol consumption. The hockey humiliation — imagine the USSR blowing out Canada 8-1 in the 1981 Canada Cup final — must have put the lid right on the jar.
Anyway, needless to say, Bancroft-Hinchey was out of bounds to slag Canada's military. Canadians might get high or low about Olympic results, but they don't put political meaning on it. Before these Games, Alex Ovechkin's popularity was neck-and-neck with Sidney Crosby's. It's doubtful Americans think winning 28 medals will lead to the affordable health care or stable banking system that (cough) exists in Canada.
Memo to Pravda: The Cold War ended. Russia lost. Just like that hockey game.
Not sorry for going there.