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Canada's great shame?

If I could get Olympics coverage from a network other than NBC, believe me, I'd get it. But I'm stuck for now, and I have to listen to the constant refrain that the Canadian people suffered some psychic damage because their athletes didn't win a gold medal at either of the previous Olympics held in Canada (1976 - Montreal; 1988 - Calgary.) Some international athletic competitions have indeed crushed Canadians - for example:

1. Almost losing the 1972 Summit Series hockey tournament against the USSR

2. Ben Johnson testing positive for steroids at the 1988 Olympics after setting a world record in the 100m.

3. Any other time that either the full Canadian national team or the World Junior team has failed to win a gold medal in a top international tournament.

But mediocre performance at the 1976 and 1988 games? Hardly. Indeed, when Canadians think of the Winter Olympics, they probably think of their rank in the total medal count since 1994:

Country Medals Gold Silver Bronze
1 Germany 118 44 44 30
2 Norway 95 35 34 26
3 USA 85 31 30 24
4 Russia 76 33 24 19
5 Canada 69 23 24 22
6 Austria 66 17 19 30
7 Italy 54 18 15 21
8 Switzerland 41 13 12 16
9 Finland 34 6 13 15
10 France 33 9 9 15

On a per capita basis, Canada can challenge any other country in the world in winter sports other than Norway and Finland. Perhaps Finland, which calls itself "a nation of athletes", is suffering because it has failed to win a gold medal in two of the last four Olympic games? Or maybe not.

Either way: Bob Costas and Al Michaels have to stop telling me that even though Canadian athletes have won 23 gold medals over the last four winter games - including a 2002 Olympic hockey gold that a friend of mine said was an even better day than his wedding - the Canadian public hasn't gotten over the shame of not winning a gold 22 years ago.

Update: well, that was fast. I hope Canada wins 20 more gold medals and we can put this whole thing to bed.