I had too little time to watch the Winter Olympics this year. It is only last night when under the pressure of my fellows (mostly North American on the two sides of the border) on the Internet lists I stood to watch the final event – the big final of the hockey tournament. Same as the marathon race for the Summer Olympics is not only the last but also the jewel in the Olympic crown and the essence and symbol of the games.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZsDTMSWDdo

(video by ittnnews)

And what a game it was. There are a few memorable events a sport fan never forgets, these events where sport raises to art, where the best thriller is shadowed by the events in the field. I lived through a few of these – the 1966 final Game of the World Cup where Germany was beaten by England, the first win at Wimbledon by Boris Becker in 1985 at the age of 17, Liverpool coming back from 0-3 and beating Milan to win the Champions League in 2005.

And now this game. The Canadians were better in the first two thirds and led 2-0, but the Americans made a splendid comeback. In the last minutes at 1-2 the American coach replaced the goalkeeper by an offensive player and his team equalized 28 seconds before the end of the game. And then, in the overtime, the Canadians were better again and scored the final goal.

At this level of the game the victory could have gone any side. At such moments sport skills count as much as luck or maybe call it destiny. And yet, in a final game there can be only one winner. This overtime system where the team that scores takes it all is called sudden death. It is indeed sudden death for the team that loses, and eternal Olympic glory for the winners.The host crowds were delighted and the wonderful city of Vancouver (which I visited a few times) as the whole Canada went crazy.