Remember that miserable Canadian winter we all suffered through, not so long ago? When watching the Winter Olympics was just about the only way to stay warm or, rather, feel warm and fuzzy about something, specifically — our athletes — and their medal haul, on the slopes, around the speed skating oval and in the hockey arena in Sochi?
Canada did what Canada does in winter sports, elbowing its way to the podium, waving the maple leaf with glee and giving us Hosers at home some new national heroes to celebrate. First among them, arguably, was Marie-Philip Poulin, a shy, polite, perfectly friendly French-Canadian, when not dressed in her hockey gear. On the ice Poulin was Clutch. She is an American Killer, and a scorer of two gold-medal sealing goals in Sochi — this after she scored the winning goal to beat the States in Vancouver four years before.
“Sidney Crosby is the best player in the world, in my opinion,” Louise Warren, Poulin’s college roommate at Boston University said after watching her pal dispatch of the U.S. “But I 100 per cent believe that [Poulin] is the best women’s hockey player in the world.”
A Canadian woman, and she is the best in the world. Poulin’s success in February stirred the patriotic spirit. But there are other rustlings out there. Canadian women are on the move. It is their time and, in England, at Wimbledon, it is Eugenie Bouchard’s time. (Photos: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images, Clive Brunskill/Getty Images, Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Stanislas Wawrinka added a win over Rafael Nadal to his list of firsts in a stunning run to his maiden Grand Slam title, extending his rival’s injury-cursed run at the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 upset in Sunday’s final.
The 28-year-old Wawrinka had never taken a set off Nadal in 12 previous meetings, but attacked from the start against the 13-time major winner and regained his nerve after dropping the third set against the injured Spaniard.
Nadal appeared to be on the verge of retiring in the second set, when he hurt his back and needed a medical time out, but he refused to quit.
“It’s really not the way you want to win a tennis match, but in a Grand Slam final I’ll take it,” said Wawrinka, the first man in 21 years to beat the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players en route to a Grand Slam title. (Photos: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images, Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images)