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Hockey: Canadian women chastized for celebrating

By Elliott Almond
Friday, February 26th, 2010 at 6:39 pm in Uncategorized.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Let’s get right to the Canadian double standard.

Just a week ago the Canadian press celebrated Jon Montgomery’s gold-medal in skeleton with tales of his “beer-swilling party animal” lifestyle.

“Moments after his electrifying win, he said his celebration would include ‘a pint,’” according to one news report.

Montgomery didn’t disappoint. He was seen walking through Whistler’s crowded pedestrian-only town plaza imbibing from a pitcher of beer. Once his Olympic competition ended, Montgomery got to bed at 5 a.m. after an all-night party.

“I don’t subscribe to necessarily all the things typical athletes do, and for me a pint now and then is a good thing,” he told reporters.

Juxtapose this portrayal with what transpired at Canada Place yesterday involving the gold-medal winning Canadian women’s hockey team.

After treating the hometown fans to a 2-0 victory over the United States, the players, still in uniform, returned to the ice to celebrate after almost everyone had left. They were drinking beer. Some also had cigars.

This led to an International Olympic Committee condemnation. 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.”

Hockey Canada almost immediately released a statement apologizing “In the excitement of the moment, the celebration left the confines of our dressing room and shouldn’t have.”

Perhaps Hockey Canada could have defended its players who toil in obscurity all their lives and have one chance to showcase what they dedicated their lives to doing. It’s not as if they defamed the flag during the medal ceremony or made disparaging remarks about any of their opponents.

It seems OK for baseball players to celebrate with champagne when winning a World Series. It has become part of sport tradition to enjoy the spoils of victory with alcohol. Jon Montgomery certainly did, and did so in a much more public place than the hockey players.

It begs the question of whether the IOC had problems with the behavior because the athletes were women.

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