I just read "Bilodeau ends Canada's gold jinx" by Matthew Pinsent of the BBC news about how Alexandre Bilodeau of Canada won gold in the men's moguls field. The Canadian Olympic team had not won a gold medal in 1976 in Montreal and in 1988 in Calgary which were the 2 years that they were favored to win a lot of gold medals. With the first Canadian pushing to get a gold medal was Charles Hamelin a speed skater for Canada in the men's 1,500m. He finished third though behind a Korean and a United States speed skater. The next Canadian close to gold was a women's mogul skier, Jennifer Heil. She finished second in the event though. It was off to the Richmond Oval for the women's 3,000m speed skating event. There were 3 Canadians competing, but non of them were favored to win anything. Non of these women even finished in the top 3! The writer says that, "The men's moguls field is so competitive and after two days of Canadian setbacks I was beginning to cast my eye down the list of sports to come in the calendar: Alpine events (delayed), figure skating... Canadians a way back from the medals and we were a long, long way from the nailed on women's ice hockey final" (Bilodeau). But, the faithful Canadian fans were rewarded at Cypress Mountain. Alexandre Bilodeau won the men's mogul to break the Canadian drought of gold medals.
This matters to the world because the Olympics are the highest level that someone can represent their country in most of the sports in the world. Since the games are in Canada this year and they haven't won a gold medal in such a long time, it was even better for them to do it at home. This is even bigger for Bilodeau since he is the one to have won the medal. He will now be considered a bit of a Canadian hero. Anytime an athlete can represent their country in an Olympic sport it is a big deal. This is something I hope I can do one day for soccer!