Canada’s Olympians: Sidney Crosby, Ice hockey

Can Crosby handle having the hopes of a nation on his shoulders?

by Charlie Gillis

Canada's Olympians: Sidney CrosbyHe’s still capable of wonder—though wonder itself has been part of the sales package so long it sounds hokey to say. It was there in Sidney Crosby’s voice a couple of weeks ago, after he woke in Vancouver to the sight of crews putting the last touches on the athletes’ village. “Exciting,” “special” and “honour” cropped up in the ration of bromides he served up that morning to the microphones.

And there was a genuine flutter in his references to the athletes’ village, where any Olympic participant will tell you the good times truly roll. It turns out even a $9-million-a-year superstar and self-described “homebody” can get giddy about something like that.

Crosby is that rare athlete whose actual personality is more appealing than he would have you believe. At 22, he is inarguably Canada’s best hockey player, winner of a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, a Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player, and a world junior championship. The ebullience that might induce has been pressed down beneath a lid of cultivated blandness. But one need only watch the home video footage of him currently airing in Tim Hortons’ commercials to catch a ray of the preteen enthusiasm that came before the script. And any fan who watches Crosby can see the part of him that is spontaneous, real and unabashedly animated by the tribal aspects of the game. He revels in the success of teammates. He takes offence on their behalf.

Crosby is that rare athlete whose actual personality is more appealing than he would have you believe. At 22, he is inarguably Canada’s best hockey player, winner of a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, a Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player, and a world junior championship. The ebullience that might induce has been pressed down beneath a lid of cultivated blandness. But one need only watch the home video footage of him currently airing in Tim Hortons’ commercials to catch a ray of the preteen enthusiasm that came before the script. And any fan who watches Crosby can see the part of him that is spontaneous, real and unabashedly animated by the tribal aspects of the game. He revels in the success of teammates. He takes offence on their behalf.

He assumes a disproportionate share of blame when things go wrong. Canada’s greatest individual hockey talent also happens to be its consummate team player.

In Vancouver, Crosby will take his place in the greatest tribe of all: the one wearing red and white. That seems like pretty good motivation. So does Crosby’s concern that this tournament represents his only chance at Olympic glory. He was crushed when left off the roster for the 2006 Games in Turin, and he recently made note of the NHL’s reluctance to commit to the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. “Who knows if NHL hockey players are going to be in them past [Vancouver],” he said. “This might be an only shot.” A touch of overstatement, perhaps; Crosby’s career will likely span three more Olympiads. But it’s a clear glimpse of the wunderkind who couldn’t crash into the NHL soon enough, and who seems refreshingly aware that the chance to be there now, to carry the hopes of an entire country while playing at the top of his game, is one opportunity not to be missed.




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Canada’s Olympians: Sidney Crosby, Ice hockey

  1. Do you think you can shove your head any farther up his ass?
    This kid is worthless on the ice without his supporting cast in Pittsburgh.
    What was that, a 6 or 7 game pointless/winless streak he and the Pens went through when his cheap shot artist buddy Malkin was out?
    I look forward to seeing a failure from this cry baby in the Olympics.
    Maybe it'll help bring some of these over inflated ego's down to size and put a stop to all of this hype that this boy is the greatest thing to happen for hockey since Gretzky…

    • Supporting cast in Pittsburgh? The rest of the team is a joke. If he actually had a "supporting cast", he would be even more amazing than he already is.

    • …let me guess…an Ovie fan I bet.
      Same old insults….idiots….come up with a real idea on your own and stop the crybaby bs from 5 years ago!

      • Typical cry baby fan.
        Not every non-Crosby-fan is an Ovie lover, so get over yourself already.
        How deep in his ass are YOU trying to get anyway?

        • Like him or not, Sidney Crosby is a great hockey player. He is a Hart Trophy Winner as the leagues MVP. That means he was the MOST VALUABLE PLAYER! It takes more then a supporting cast to win that kind of award. I agree that he was a bit of a cry baby when he first entered the league, but he has matured. Come on, he was the Captain of a Stanley Cup winning team! NHL teams that have that kind of success do not EVER have a "cry-baby" serving as thier captain. I'll admit that Ovie is having a better season then Sid this year, but saying Crosby is a useless player is preposterous.

        • It's pathetic that "cry baby" is all you can come up with. I'll admit he was whiner in his first season but he has matured since then and he doesn't do it anymore than the normal player today. At least come up with a legit reason, you sound so effing redundant, it's pathetic. and if you're honestly saying you can captain a team to the stanley cup and score the gold game winning goal and are still useless, then I can't even imagine the depth of your stupidity.

    • Haha hey buddy….how much of an ass do you feel like right now? haha
      I know you watched as he shut you up! Way to go champ! lol

  2. OMG!!! Give me a break! He's a team player and a great captain. BUT look all he's achived before he even made it to the NHL. That takes talent and skill, that's what got him to where he is today. His maturity and personality and respect for the game. The kid grew up watching Gretzky and Lemieux and has nothing but respect for them as they for him. Can't you understand that he is a gifted player and that's what makes everyone in awwe of his game. It's nice to have someone else for the generation now adays to look up to as we all did to the Gordie Howes, Gretzky and Lemieux's of our time. They were mediaized the same back in their playing days, are you gonna say that they were worthless or too much hype about them?????

    • Yes, Gretzky was over-hyped in that he was untouchable on the ice.
      He was never allowed to be hit and had enforcers around him to see to that.
      Anyone could put up numbers like his if they are never interfered with, as he clearly was not.

  3. Now that we know it's not sand hockey is…what's football Charley?

  4. yeah go sidney and team canada

  5. Sidney will pull Canada through with a win just watch and see:)
    GO CANADA GO

    • He will?
      All by his little lonesome?
      That's funny, because I was under the impression that this was a TEAM SPORT…

      • Woah bud, calm down and just relax. If you hate him this much, why are you commenting here so much…says something about you. And secondly she didn't stress that it would be him ALONE so stop reading into things that aren' there.

  6. With Canada's opportunity to win gold on home soul for the first time ever is very important, Canadians will not need to wait until either Hockey team plays in the gold medal game in order to see that gold. Medal hopefuls in the early days such as Jennifer Heil, Manny Osborne-Paradis, Charles Hamelin, Kristina Groves and Alexandre Dilobeau to name a few will lead Canada off to a strong start and give much needed momentum to athletes competing later on in the games. Once the pressure of the first gold medal has been relieved… I expect Canada will take off and come the end of Vancouver 2010, will be atop the medal standings will Germany and the United States of America.

    As the games move along, you can find out daily who to watch for and what Canadians are medal hopefuls in what events (so you aren't stuck flipping back and forth between Canadian and American coverage trying to find out what event you should be watching and who to look out for) @ http://www.lionsdenu.com/category/sports/thecoach

    Best of luck to all Canadians athletes… regardless of your outcome, you will all make a nation proud.

    At Lions Den U, We Believe…

    Regards,
    TheCoach

  7. is this sidney's first of second time in the olympics?

    • i know iam 42 weeks late but it is his second

  8. Hey Goon Squad

    Oh shit…
    Sidney Crosby is genius. lol
    Get the Fuxker….shut up.

  9. he is not the best in the nhl right now
    its ovechkin
    he is amazing and everygame he makes something happen

    • YOU ARE SO WRONG

    • CROSBY>OVECHIN

  10. Like it or not we don't have the best team! And to all you canadians who think its going to be easy to get through and get the Gold we have stiff competition from Russia, Sweden, Finland, and the rest. So no it won't be easy just like everybody thought it would be in turin and what did we win 7th place.

  11. Есть такая русская поговорка:”Бог троицу любит”,так что канадцем ничего не светит.Русские выиграли два чемпионата мира,теперь Олимпийские игры

    • I have no idea what u just said

  12. i can do way better then you.

  13. what are you talking about hes the best.

  14. sidney crosbey is the best i hope he wins it for us
    GO CANADA GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  15. sidney crosbey is awsome i hope he brings us to the top.
    GO CANADA GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  16. All those non-believers can go eat their shit because CANADA WON GOLD WITH THE GOAL SHOT BY CROSBY. FUCK YEAH.

  17. Our Father, who art in GM Place, HOCKEY be thy name, thy will be done. GOLD to be WON on ice as well as in the stands, give us this day, our hockey sticks and forgive us our penalties, as we forgive those who crosscheck against us. LEAD US not into elimination but deliver us TO VICTORY, in the name … of the fans, CANADA and the Holy Puck. AMEN!!

  18. US ALREADY BEAT CANADA; IN CASES LIKE THESE THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A SECOND GOLD MEDAL GAME; EACH TEAM HAD ONE LOSS.

  19. I just want to say, "He's HOT!!!" Same with my friend.

  20. ya guess wat the olympics happened and who dominated …. crosby did. ovie blew it and russia sucked plus crosby scored canadas winning goal so i would feel like an ass now!!!!

  21. and im canadian!

    • Good for u joe

  22. My man Crosby and the penguins are the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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