Canadians let out a triumphant cheer and a huge sigh of relief on Sunday night as the host country captured it's first gold medal ever on home soil. It happened in the men’s moguls event when Alexandre Bilodeau edged out Australian Dale Begg-Smith for the top spot. Bryon Wilson, once considered a long shot even to make the US Squad, had an incredible run to claim the bronze. Begg-Smith actually grew up in Canada, but bailed to to compete for Australia as a teenager. It's a move that didn't really sit well with Canadians, and it was an added boost that Bilodeau claimed the title over him.
It was a very emotional win for Bilodeau not just for what it meant to the country, but also what it meant for his family. His older brother, Frederic, who has cerebral palsy was waiting with his parents near the bottom of the course and I couldn't keep a dry eye watching their reaction to the win. Alexandre had long said he was doing it for Frederic, and that Frederic was his inspiration. The hug they shared after he won gold was a special moment to behold.
I'm so happy that the if/when story surrounding Canada's first Gold Medal at home is finally over. That pressure is now off the shoulders of the entire team and now they can compete without that added pressure mixed in there.
Congrats, Canadians! Your long wait for home gold is over! Good luck in the rest of the Games!