February 21, 2010
However much you might like your country's national anthem, it's pretty commonly held that "O Canada" is among the world's best. It's stately, but not dated; grandiose, but not imperial. It's just a great national anthem. And if you're the Canadian curling team, it'll help you beat your rivals in a pinch.
During Saturday's match with the world champion team from Great Britain, fans in the curling arena spontaneously broke into a rendition of "O Canada" at the end of play. With plenty of time to spare, the Canadian team let the crowd finish, then went and scored two points in the final frame to beat Great Britain 7-6. It's like the wave, but actually cool.
"That's one you'll want to put in the old memory bank in the back of your head, because I've never heard that in any sport that I’ve ever been to or watched on TV," Team Canada captain Kevin Martin told Reuters.
Team member Marc Kennedy said, "That's amazing — I don't know if that's ever happened in a curling game before." He's probably right, since there's not that many times that a large pro-Canada crowd happens to be at an international curling competition that is being hosted in Canada. And that's what makes it awesome.
It feels like curling has reached a critical mass, where enough people care about the sport that more than 5,000 fans will just start singing like they're in a musical. Of course it's inspiring to the Canadian team, but it's also really cool for the rest of us casual fans. No matter how many great throws or blood-curdling screams come from these Olympics, curling still needed a signature moment. Now it has one, and it's one of the best of the entire Games.
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