Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Golden Bear

I’ve been to world championships, Briers and Scotties but I don’t think I’ve even seen such a dramatic moment as yesterday’s win by Kevin Martin.

Without being at the Games, it’s hard to understand just how much bigger everything is so when you see the gold medal won, it’s that much more impressive.

Earlier in the day, Markus Eggler and the Swiss won the bronze and to see them celebrate, you’d have thought they won gold. But that’s how these athletes feel about these medals, feel about what this is all about.

The game yesterday wasn’t Martin’s best in the first part, I didn’t think. He looked a little uptight, perhaps tense which is strange since you’d think, having been there before, that he’d be able to handle it.

But the three guys behind him were unbelievable, especially Morris who seemed to be so dialed in.

The other thing Martin had on his side was that Thomas Ulsrud and Toger Nergaard were not sharp at the start. So despite Martin’s slow start, the Norwegians were always under pressure.

I’ve covered Martin since his first Brier in 1991 and through all his wins, I’ve never seen him really overjoyed at winning, when the final shot is played. He always seems more satisfied than elated.

Not yesterday. He was letting it all out with some big yells and it was great to see.
Actually my first indication that the team had won the gold came from Marc Kennedy who stopped sweeping and started pumping his broom in the air. Ben Hebert kept sweeping right into the house and was met by John Morris who jumped into his arms.
It was a great scene.

A few other really nice moments that you didn’t see on TV. When Kennedy came into the media tribune (where the team meets us ink-stained wretches), he wanted to thank the regulars, shaking our hands. Amazing that he would think of us at such a time, I was really touched by that.

And when the Old Bear came through, the look on his face wearing that gold medal will stay with me forever. I’ve never seen him look more proud/relieved/thrilled all at once. He just looked really, really different than I’ve ever seen him.

A final note: I don’t think you could find a classier silver medal winner than Ulsrud. He was exceedingly gracious in defeat, giving the Martin team full props, almost as if he was in awe of just how good they were.

I think you’ll hear from this Norwegian team again, they are way talented.
More in the next post, but for now, it’s over to hockey.

1 comment:

alvin said...

For the past couple of years, I kept hearing about how Kevin Martin put this team together for the olympics. Now that he's won, how long will the foursome stay together?

(I realize no one knows this yet, including the four and they are still celebrating, etc but just a thought I had earlier today.)