5 ways Canada is winning the Sochi Games with Olympic spirit
Men's 1000-meter speedskating silver medalist Denny Morrison of Canada jumps on the podium during the medals ceremony at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. (AP / David Goldman)
Corinne Ton That, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, February 13, 2014 12:01PM EST
Only a week into the Sochi Olympics, Canada has already made international headlines for racking up medals and creating heartfelt moments in a true display of “Olympism.”
According to the website of the Olympic Movement, Olympism is defined as “a way of life” based on the “the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.”
“The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play,” the site goes on to say.
Here are five ways Canada has embodied the true Olympic spirit in Sochi.
Speed skater Denny Morrison skated to silver, winning Canada’s 10th medal on Wednesday after teammate Gilmore Junio gave up his spot in the 1,000-metre final.
Morrison failed to qualify for the event when he fell during the Canadian trials in December. But Junio thought Morrison, who ranks 6th in the world in the event, had a better chance of finishing on the podium.
Taking to Twitter, Morrison expressed his gratitude and launched a campaign to have Junio selected as the Canadian flag-bearer at the closing ceremony of the Sochi Olympics.
Speaking like a true Canadian, Junio told CTV’s Canada AM that it would be a “huge honour” to carry the Canadian flag at the closing ceremony, but that “there are so many great Canadian stories that have happened in these Games and have yet to be told.”
Russian cross-country skier Anton Gafarov broke one of his skis after taking a tumble during the semi-finals of the men’s freestyle sprint event on Tuesday.
Seconds later, Canadian ski coach Justin Wadsworth rushed to the slope with a replacement ski, which allowed Gafarov to finish the race.
The home crowd cheered as Gafarov crossed the finish line nearly three minutes off the lead.
Alexandre Bilodeau made Olympic freestyle skiing history when he became the first person to defend his moguls title.
While Bilodeau was the defending Olympic champion heading into Sochi, 21-year-old Mikael Kingsbury was the reigning world champion, having won the World Cup title the last two years.
But Kingsbury, who took silver, couldn’t match Bilodeau on Monday. “I was going for gold, but just to be on the podium is crazy and I am with my teammate,” Kingsbury said. “It’s just unbelievable.”
And the 26-year-old Bilodeau says he has his teammates to thank for his gold medal.
“Every day they push me in training and that’s why I got my best skiing tonight,” he said. “The guy that finished second, he is going to win everything after I have gone.”
Snowboarder Mark McMorris suffered from a fractured rib on Jan. 25, but he still competed in the slopestyle event in Sochi, placing third and capturing Canada’s first medal.
Meanwhile, slopestyle champion and gold medal hopeful Kaya Turski tore her ACL on a training run about six months ago, and landed in Sochi with an unidentified illness. During the slopestyle ski competition on Tuesday, she crashed and separated her shoulder on the first run before popping it back in.
But she took another fall, crashing on the final jump in her second run.
Despite her struggles, she took to Twitter to congratulate her teammate Dara Howell, who won gold.
"Wow!!! @DaraHowell you just won the Olympics!" she said. "Proud of you kid. You skied amazing. Hats off to my very talented Canadian teammate."
Canadian politicians have been showing support for LGBT athletes in the wake of legal crackdowns on homosexuality in Russia.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told CTV News that he decided to raise the Rainbow Flag at Ottawa City Hall during the Olympics to send “a very clear message to the Russian government that in the 21st century, it doesn’t matter who you love. We should be protecting everyone’s human rights.”
While Watson received online support for his decision to raise the flag, one person criticized the mayor, saying: “@JimWatsonOttawa This is a stupid waste of time. You’ve lost my vote.”
Watson responded: “@Awesomely11 if you have that point of view, I really don’t want your vote.”
And in response to Russia’s anti-gay law banning gay “propaganda,” Vancouver city councillors decided to send Deputy Mayor Tim Stevenson, who is openly gay, to represent Vancouver in Russia.
Stevenson, who returned home on Sunday, said his mission was a success. He said high-ranking officials from the International Olympic Committee told him that they would consider including a non-discrimination clause regarding sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination policy.
With files from The Canadian Press