Who won Canada's first Olympic gold medal on home soil?
When the Winter Olympics came to
Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1988, everyone wondered whether or not the country
had what it took to win any gold medals on home soil. With few training
facilities available in the country, and even fewer athletes that could train
for long periods of time abroad, the worries proved to be founded when at the
Closing Ceremonies at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada stood with no gold
medals around any of the athletes’ necks. What they did walk away with was a lot
of experience, and some new facilities that would help future athletes achieve
their dream of winning gold on home soil.
When the Winter Olympic Games came to Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada in 2010, the big question on everyone’s mind was “Will
Canada win a gold medal on home soil?” While many found it fun to speculate
whether this would happen or not, Canadians believed and for them, the question
was not whether or not it would happen, but when. And who would walk away with
that historic gold medal hanging around their neck?
Their question was answered on February 14, 2010
when Montreal skier Alexandre Bilodeau completed a 23.17 second run on the men’s
moguls, doing back flips and a double full jump along the way, to the delight of
the crowd. Most inspiring about the story is not only that Bilodeau gave Canada
their first gold on home soil, but also that Alex’s brother, Frederic, watched
from the sidelines the entire time. Frederic is Alex’s older brother and he
suffers from cerebral palsy. Alex has always attributed his brother for being
his inspiration and main source of support.
As Alexandre Bilodeau stood on the podium to
receive his gold medal, he was joined by Dale Begg-Smith on one side, who won
silver in the event; and Bryon Wilson from the United States, who took home the