SOCHI, Russia - Muscles bulging out of their tight tops, Canada’s curlers threw down their brooms and roared loudly after the game-winning rock settled in the house.
The “Buff Boys” beat up the British in the men’s Olympic final.
Canada won a third consecutive Olympic title Friday, routing Britain 9-3 in just eight ends to match the biggest margin of victory in a Winter Games final.
“I was really expecting to have to make my last one, or to be in a nail-biter,” Canada skip Brad Jacobs said. “You never expect to go out there and blow a team out.”
All those 6 a.m. gym sessions paid off for Jacobs’ rink, which has brought previously unseen levels of fitness to a sport sometimes ridiculed as “housework on ice.” Jacobs, Ryan Fry and brothers Ryan and E.J. Harnden jumped in unison onto the top step of the podium in the flower ceremony, then jogged around the Ice Cube taking in the cheers of pockets of Canadian fans.
Their aggressive, confrontational style on the ice isn’t to everyone’s liking, but it’s certainly effective.
Just ask the British — they were behind 5-1 to the world’s best team after three ends. Said Britain skip David Murdoch, “We didn’t get off to a good start. And that’s what really killed us.”
After Britain’s near misses at the past two Olympics, just reaching the final was more than Murdoch and his young team could have hoped for.
But when it comes to curling, Canada always expects gold. It’s the country’s No. 2 winter sport.
And the Canadians delivered. For the first time since the sport returned to the Olympic program, the same country won gold in the men’s and women’s tournaments.
Jennifer Jones’ rink went 11-0 as Canada reclaimed the women’s title for the first time in 16 years, and Jacobs’ rink won eight consecutive matches after a 1-2 start.
Playing to the backdrop of cowbells and shouts from four Elvis Presley impersonators, Canada was on top right from the start, scoring two points in the first end and three more in the third. When Jacobs threw down an easy nose hit with the last stone of the eighth, the British offered their hands in congratulations.
Canada started 1-2 in Sochi and some were wondering whether the pressure of representing Canada was too much.
“It’s always hard to wear the maple leaf,” Jacobs said. “We are expected [in] Canada to at least medal and if not win a gold. It’s tough to carry that weight on your shoulders.
“Now we are gold medal winners. And I’m relieved.”
|Washington||9||Bottom 6th Inning|
|Detroit||7||Bottom 9th Inning|
|San Diego||0||Bottom 1st Inning|
|LA Angels||0||Top 2nd Inning|
|Chicago WSox||0||Top 2nd Inning|
|Kansas City||0||Top 2nd Inning|
|Milwaukee||0||Bottom 1st Inning|
|Arizona||0||Bottom 1st Inning|
|Cincinnati||0||Top 2nd Inning|
|Chicago Cubs||9:05 PM|
|New York||6:30 PM|
|Golden State||9:30 PM|
|Washington||39||2nd Half 12:30|
|Virginia Tech||32||2nd Half|
|Colorado State||4:00 PM|
|SE Louisiana||5:00 PM|
|South Carolina||6:00 PM|
|Boston College||6:00 PM|
|Texas Tech||6:00 PM|
|South Florida||6:00 PM|
|American Univ||6:30 PM|
|Air Force||6:30 PM|
|Coppin State||7:00 PM|
|East Carolina||7:00 PM|
|McNeese State||7:30 PM|
|Northern Ill||8:00 PM|
|Oregon State||8:00 PM|
|Prairie View||8:00 PM|
|Miss State||8:25 PM|
|San Jose St||9:00 PM|
|Washington St||10:30 PM|
|Chicago State||35||2nd Half 7:37|
|Georgia State||22||2nd Half|
|New Mexico St||4:30 PM|
|Alabama A&M||5:30 PM|
|Louisiana Tech||6:00 PM|
|St Francis-PA||6:00 PM|
|Mount St Marys|
|Cleveland State||7:00 PM|
|Long Beach St||8:00 PM|
|TX-San Antonio||8:30 PM|
|Utah Valley U||10:30 PM|
|UC Davis||10:30 PM|