Raining on Canadian women’s parade

The gold medal winning hockey team boozes it up on the ice and sparks condemnation

Topics: Winter Olympics 2010, Olympics, Winter Olympics, Broadsheet,

Raining on Canadian women's paradeCanada Haley Irwin, left, and Tessa Bonhomme, right, celebrate after Canada beat USA 2-0 to win the women's gold medal ice hockey game at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)(Credit: AP)

Canada’s women’s hockey team has scored quite the controversy by daring to celebrate their win against the U.S. on Thursday by sipping beer, guzzling champagne and smoking cigars on the ice. After the fans filtered out of the stadium, the ladies returned to the rink still in uniform with gold medals draped around their necks. They laid on the ice, poured champagne in each other’s mouths and soaked up the Olympic glory. Their revelry hardly would have garnered any attention, except for one minor detail: there was an Associated Press photographer on hand to capture it all on film.

Now, the International Olympic Committee has reportedly written a letter to the Canadian National Olympic Committee “to find out a few more details,” and the team has issued a public apology. What’s the big deal, you might ask? For one, 18-year-old team member Marie-Philip Poulin was snapped holding a beer, and she’s just under the legal drinking age in British Columbia. OK, so that’s inappropriate, I guess — only, in her home of Quebec, the drinking age is 18. Are people really that scandalized that someone just weeks away from her 19th birthday was caught imbibing in Vancouver after winning an Olympic gold medal?

I suspect not. Judging by the online chatter over the “incident,” the age issue is but one more complaint shoveled onto the pile. Primarily at issue is that some perceive it as a display of poor sportsmanship, which I find kind of hilarious for two reasons: 1.) Ice hockey is one of the most impolite professional sports around (within five minutes of the first men’s hockey game I attended, two players had already resorted to fisticuffs on the ice), and 2.) Have these people never witnessed the hooting, hollering, fist-pumping, champagne-popping, and exclamations of “I’m goin’ to Disneyland!” at, like, any major sporting event? 

You Might Also Like

I hate to be predictable, but I gotta say it: I suspect there’s also a definite undercurrent of sexism here. For example, one blogger wrote:

My question is: Why ‘ladies’ play men’s sports and look so awkward (unlady like) in the process? Being a woman is all about being a woman (grace, softness…). Figure skating is by all standards a women’s sport, as we witnessed yesterday in Kim Yu-Na’s performance. Simply brilliant.

So ladies, make an attempt to look like females, stay away from men’s sports, don’t try to be like men, you know, that’s what the men are for.

Aw, I think he’s scared of the big bad lady athletes. Poor dude — we just aren’t used to seeing women engaged in such stereotypically manly celebration. Not only are they drinking beer, they’re also chugging champagne and smoking cigars. Looking through the photographs, you can almost hear their self-satisfied guttural belches — and, you know what? It makes me swoon in full-blown girl-crush mode. I mean, my cheeks actually ache because every time I catch a glimpse of those snapshots, I grin uncontrollably. Now these are some women I’d like to grab a beer with.

Why don’t all the haters take a note from these Canadian ladies: Grab a Molson’s and chill out, eh?

Tracy Clark-Flory
Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    DAYA  
    Young Daya has yet to become entirely jaded, but she has the character's trademark skeptical pout down pat. And with a piece-of-work mother like Aleida -- who oscillates between jealousy and scorn for her creatively gifted daughter, chucking out the artwork she brings home from summer camp -- who can blame her?

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    MORELLO   
    With her marriage to prison penpal Vince Muccio, Lorna finally got to wear the white veil she has fantasized about since childhood (even if it was made of toilet paper).

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CINDY   
    Cindy's embrace of Judaism makes sense when we see her childhood, lived under the fist of a terrifying father who preached a fire-and-brimstone version of Christianity. As she put it: "I was raised in a church where I was told to believe and pray. And if I was bad, I’d go to hell."

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CAPUTO   
    Joey Caputo has always tried to be a good guy, whether it's offering to fight a disabled wrestler at a high school wrestling event or giving up his musical ambitions to raise another man's child. But trying to be a nice guy never exactly worked out for him -- which might explain why he decides to take the selfish route in the Season 3 finale.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    BOO   
    In one of the season's more moving flashbacks, we see a young Boo -- who rejected the traditional trappings of femininity from a young age -- clashing with her mother over what to wear. Later, she makes the decision not to visit her mother on her deathbed if it means pretending to be something she's not. As she puts it, "I refuse to be invisible, Daddy. Not for you, not for Mom, not for anybody.”

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    SOSO
    We still don't know what landed Brooke Soso in the slammer, but a late-season flashback suggests that some seriously overbearing parenting may have been the impetus for her downward spiral.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    POUSSEY
    We already know a little about Poussey's relationship with her military father, but this season we saw a softer side of the spunky fan-favorite, who still pines for the loving mom that she lost too young.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    PENNSATUCKY
    Pennsatucky had something of a redemption arc this season, and glimpses of her childhood only serve to increase viewer sympathy for the character, whose mother forced her to chug Mountain Dew outside the Social Security Administration office and stripped her of her sexual agency before she was even old enough to comprehend it.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CHANG
    This season, we got an intense look at the teenage life of one of Litchfield's most isolated and underexplored inmates. Rebuffed and scorned by her suitor at an arranged marriage, the young Chinese immigrant stored up a grudge, and ultimately exacted a merciless revenge.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    HEALY
    It's difficult to sympathize with the racist, misogynist CO Sam Healy, but the snippets we get of his childhood -- raised by a mentally ill mother, vomited on by a homeless man he mistakes for Jesus when he runs to the church for help -- certainly help us understand him better.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    NORMA
    This season, we learned a lot about one of Litchfield's biggest enigmas, as we saw the roots of Norma's silence (a childhood stutter) and the reason for her incarceration (killing the oppressive cult leader she followed for decades).

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    NICKI
    While Nicki's mother certainly isn't entirely to blame for her daughter's struggles with addiction, an early childhood flashback -- of an adorable young Nicki being rebuffed on Mother's Day -- certainly helps us understand the roots of Nicki's scarred psyche.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>