February 26, 2010
"Ain't no party like an IOC party, cuz an IOC party don't ... happen?"
The time honored tradition of celebrating a sports championship with alcohol and cigars was alive and well last night after the Canadian women's team defeated the U.S. 2-0 to win their third straight Olympic gold medal. It was a huge party on the ice at Canada Hockey Place and with them winning a gold medal on home soil against their biggest and only rival, you'd have to excuse the Canadian women for being just a tad excited.
Apparently the excitement was a little too much for those sticklers at the International Olympic Committee who said after the game that they will investigate what kind of damage such a public celebration including alcohol and cigars will do to their image as well as the game of women's hockey.
After being told of the celebrations by a reporter, Gilbert Felli, the IOC's executive director of Olympic Games, said, "I don't think it's a good promotion of sport values. If they celebrate in the changing room, that's one thing, but not in public." Of course, no one would ever see footage or pictures of the women celebrating in the same matter inside the locker room. No, definitely not. It isn't like it was a huge event for Canada whatsoever. We'd just have to rely on second-hand stories and Zapruder-like footage in years to come when remembering the vivid Canadian celebration in front of their country.
The one sticking point with the IOC was the fact that Marie-Philip Poulin, who's 18 years old, was part of the celebration and not legally old enough to drink in British Columbia. She doesn't turn 19, legal age, until next month. OK, fair enough for that. But what sort of punishment would the IOC give to Canada, one its two world powers in the sport? Or is this just a PR case for them to continue to be ahead of the National Football League in keeping the fun out?
To calm down the IOC, Hockey Canada released a statement apologizing for display:
"The members of Team Canada apologize if their on-ice celebrations, after fans had left the building, have offended anyone," the statement read.
"In the excitement of the moment, the celebration left the confines of our dressing room and shouldn't have. The team regrets that its gold medal celebration may have caused the IOC or COC any embarrassment.
"Our players and team vow to uphold the values of the Olympics moving forward and view this situation as a learning experience."
This will blow over like the Miller mask issue once the IOC actually looks at what they're "investigating" here and understands how ridiculousness they look yet again.
If you're currently not employed by the IOC and can handle it, the Canadian press has a small gallery of photos of the celebration.