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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Responses, Part 1
Do you think the comments Gretzky made after Monday's hockey game will motivate Team Canada? Is he right when he says the whole world wants Canada to lose?

Here are responses to the above question:

NO, I don't think that the whole world wants to see Canada lose. It also seems to me that the majority of the criticism has been from the Canadian press. The Canadian Team put so much pressure on themselves and now that they haven't played well they are looking for someone to blame, besides themselves of course. Good luck to the Canadian Team I hope Stevie Y. has a great tournament and they bring home the silver or bronze. USA#1.

I absolutely loved to hear one of our legendary Canadians, Wayne Gretzky, tell the world that we've had enough at these Olympic games. To all of our athletes, and in this case especially to our Canadian Hockey Team: I for one will be cheering to the end for my team! I do feel sorry for Roman Hamirlik come next week, but it's Canadian for me to feel remorse when we have to teach someone a lesson. It's part of Being Canadian. Canadians will take abuse and shrug it off. Canadians will often be passive. But make no mistake. Canadians can play hard. Canadians can fight tough. Canadians will not stand down when the world beats on them. And Canadians can get very pissed off. I think it's time we reminded the world that it's not all Lumberjacks and curlers up here. Its time to show the world what fired up Canadian looks like. And yes, I have to feel sorry for the rest of you. I Am Canadian.
Gary Michael Allen Enns

I don't think that what Gretzky said was at all in order. It will have no effect on Team Canada. They do not need to be motivated to perform. We have a top team of top players and they are all doing their best. What has to be kept in mind is that these are players from individual teams who have been thrown together, have not played with each other (only against each other), and now are expected to perform like a disciplined team. I don't think that the whole world wants Canada to lose any more than the world wants, say, Russia to lose. The only way that Team Canada can win is to play the same knock down drag out style that the NHL plays. These guys, remember, are NHL guys. This style is not Olympic style. I think Wayne Gretzky has a way of putting his foot in his mouth. Remember what he said in the 80's about the Mickey Mouse team put on the ice by the NJ Devils? What happened when the Oilers next met the Devils? I think Wayne is whining again.
Arthur E. Ammeter

Wayne Gretzky is wrong in one respect - all Canadians want to see Canada win and win big. Too bad all the media has to hound them so much that it's no longer about what our hockey team would like to accomplish but what the rest of the world expects them to accomplish, being hyped mostly by the media. I'm just happy we have a team there - lots of countries do not have either the money or the support to put forward a team.

Although I can sympathize with Gretzky's feelings of frustration, I cannot agree with presenting them to the world as a rant. Frankly I found his approach an embarrassment. I am sure it will not motivate the team nor will it sit well with world opinion. Rather it strengthens the argument of some of the world press that Canadians are whiners.
Jaffery Stewart

All this from the same guy who thought Marty's [McSorley] assault was just a tap on the head and we shouldn't worry. I saw nothing in the replays that you don't see every week in the regular season. Quit whining Wayne and get them to play the game. Speed, passing and smarts is what you need to focus on.

I don't know about motivating the team but after watching NBC's coverage (on MSNBC) it seems that the American media has a penchant for insulting Canadians, whether intentional or not. They are nothing but the bully on the block. It's high time to knock off that block.
Michael Gibb

Yes, I think Wayne's comments will motivate them...especially after our team's strong showing vs. The Czechs last night. It is time to sock it back to all those who want Canada to lose!
William Noble

[Wayne's comments] couldn't hurt. I don't think the whole world really cares much about Canada, which is much like Canada feels about the rest of the world.
John Whittaker

Most citizens of most countries naturally want their own national teams to win. Most Americans, in my opinion, would favor a Canadian gold medal, but only if the US team fails to win it. This hardly translates into a universal desire for the Canadians to do badly. Wayne Gretzky seems to have difficulty accepting the reality that there are now many countries whose hockey is at least as competitive as Canadian hockey, if not more so. Speaking personally, having been born in Canada, I am rooting strongly for Team Canada in hockey (men and women), but for the US competitors in the other events, By the way, Monday's Canada-Czech game was a barn-burner -- great hockey by two superb teams at the top of their respective games. It was a joy to watch. Team Canada is by no means out of the running for the grand prize.
John LeBaron

The world does not want Canada to lose. It is the reverse we are everyone's first or second choice to win. The "Great One" did not sound great last night!!!
Bob Pridmore

Here's a headline for you: Wayne's still whining! Some things will never change.
Steve Lacusta

Clearly I believe the "Great One" is correct. The spear and crosscheck given to Fleury was reminiscent of the 70's play in Canada. We as Canadians have worked very hard to change the perception of Canadian hockey. If a Canadian were responsible for such an act, it would be front-page news "Canadian Hooligan Does It Again!" My guess is, if you were one of the 23 Canadian players sitting in that dressing room following last night's game, and heard Gretzky defend Canadian Hockey…. You would be pumped! These guys are the best we have, and are among the best in the World, if I were playing for Finland, I would keep my head up.
Chris Barber

I think that it is as great shame that the sports world and The Globe don't see fit to put our medal winners in freestyle aerials on the front page. It is getting very tiresome to not only watch, but also read about the men's hockey team. One would think that they are the only ones at the games that count! What about our women's team? They are the ones that we can hold our heads up high for as far as hockey is concerned. We need to focus on the great achievements of our Canadian team not the high paid lackluster men's hockey team. Where is your sense of equal coverage and fair play?!
Luise Cox
Mississauga, Ont.

Finally someone stands up and says the right thing. One of the things that make Canadians great is that we are quiet people on the world stage and general want to get along with everyone. This however can bite us in the back side when we need to rally. Yes this is going to motivate the team because when the greatest player to play the sport is your off ice team spokesman/leader people listen. And for all you non-believers out there about Gretzky's greatness, take away all his goals he scored in the NHL and he is still the all time points leader!
J.A. Fosbury

I certainly hope it will. It is too bad when poor refereeing like we saw last night from an NHL professional referee is okay when it is against Canada but Canadian hooliganism when directed at another team.
Marijane Isbister

The Gretz' comments are not atypical for a GM in his position. Certainly Canadians have been dismayed at the team's inauspicious start to the tourney but they appear to be gaining in their ability to play under the foreign conditions that most of their rivals are far more used to. As for 'the world wanting Canada to lose', that is to be expected and shouldn't shock anybody as Canada has always been regarded as a hockey powerhouse and it is only natural to have other teams' supporters wishing ill will to one of the expected tournament favourites.
Alan Morgan
 All responses   Part 2 

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