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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Responses, Part 2
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:

I feel the best team will win but never the less let it be said and remembered that Canadians are winners no matter what!

In the world stage, Canada has been a great target since we are neither Europeans or Americans. Our tendency to be independent politically and economically has meant that we are always in the middle of battles between the world powerbrokers and have served to be convenient whipping boys for the Americans and Europeans when politically or economically required. But at the same time we have been used to garner their political or economic interests and we have always obliged i.e. we have willingly been used and abused when convenient. This has come to the surface in many instances but even more so now and thank God that we have a strong leader such as Gretzky who can say the truth. I say Gretzky should be the next Prime Minister of Canada, may be we would get somewhere.
Franco Hasou

What Gretzky said was a refreshing change from the usual Canadian banter when the deck is stacked against us (with the exception of the always wonderful Don Cherry). The truth is, if it were a Canadian player who executed that cross check the first question Gretzky would have been asked is whether or not they should have been suspended. Gretzky's reaction speaks volumes as we have to remember, the man who went on that tirade last night is hockey's greatest sportsman. Hopefully the team will absorb some of Gretzky's emotions heading into our battle with Finland.
Natasha Monkman

Perhaps everyone in the Games just wants to win as much as we do. Mr. Gretzky's tirade sounds suspiciously like someone trying to rally the troops. Us against the world is a familiar cliché in sport. It serves to bring a group together but here it sounds rather tired. At least he didn't blame an "axis of evil." A team's or an athlete's best effort is all we can expect. The men's hockey team should get on with the task of providing its best effort and leave the complaining to others.
Philip Cheveldayoff

I can fully appreciate Gretzky's comments after the Czech game. I believe that team Canada was not whom he was addressing, certainly as a motivational "pep talk". I also firmly believe that Canada's stature in this sport will always draw the kind of "crap" that he refers to. I'm not unhappy that Gretzky expressed feelings that a lot of Canadians share!
D. McCoy

Gretzky's comments were pitiful, and revealed more than a little paranoia. American propaganda? I suppose it's propaganda that caused Canada to lose to Sweden and look lethargic against Germany. I suppose it's propaganda that has left Canada with one hockey gold medal since 1952. I've been watching the U.S. coverage and it's hardly been vitriolic. But apparently with Wayne, any criticism, any hint that Canada is underachieving, cannot be tolerated. This was not a leader motivating his troops. This was a failed GM having a nervous breakdown before the world.
Sean Mehegan

I think that Gretzky should stop his whining about the media coverage and focus on the fact that his team is not meeting expectations - his or Canada's. The problem is not with the coverage, but with the lack-luster performance of the team's first two games. C'mon Wayne, if your team of millionaires can't beat the other teams of millionaires, it is not the fault of unfavourable criticism. As far as Canadians are concerned, hopefully we only expect our athletes to give their best, and, win or lose, we can be proud.
Gordon Williams

I believe Gretzky's comments are correct and yes this should motivate our Canadian team. They will not play gentlemen's Olympic hockey if nobody else is. Although, our Canadian team did need some motivation because their heart does not seem to be into the games.
Jason McCarthy

I think we should re-evaluate why we have professional NHL players in the Olympics. It just not seem right to me. I think Gretzky's comments are way out of line.
Bob Patterson

I'm from Boston, and I lived in Montreal during the last Winter Olympics. I've been hoping for a U.S. v. Canada final, because I want Canada to win if the U.S. does not. I think that's probably true for most Americans. I think that Wayne is either trying to fire up the team, which looked pretty fired up last evening, or is just displaying some stress from the immense pressure put upon him by the Canadian press.

I think Gretzky is right when he talks about the officials on the ice and I know that he defending Canada's Team will go a long way in motivating our team. Canada has been tagged as to close to the U.S. Further to this, I am very disappointed with the judging and the officials at the Games.... Are these Games becoming a joke?
D. Phoenix

Canada continues to think that it is the leading hockey power in the world. Canadian pros have a false sense of superiority about themselves. The NHL has been corporate-ized "American style" and the players have reaped big pay gains. The NHL game, however, is uglier and it is getting worse. The players are too big for the small ice surfaces. There is too much mucking with the puck. Fighting should have been banned many years ago. The season is too long. There is no such thing as player loyalty anymore. Soon there will be no more fan loyalty. There is also too much noise and advertising in the arenas and on TV. The NHL is close to being the WWF. I could go on and on. Because money dictates the terms the game in Canada will continue to erode.

What a beautiful thing to hear; the greatest player to ever play the game, standing up for the greatest nation to ever play the game.
Sean Hamm

Better Wayne looks in the mirror to see a big part of problem.

Not sure Gretzky's comments will motivate Team Canada--I hope it will. I don't think EVERYONE is against Canadian hockey teams. However, when I traveled to Sweden, numerous Swedes took great pleasure in recounting detailed hockey tales where the Swedes trounced Canada. I do think Gretzky's comments regarding European on-ice tactics are correct. It is unfortunate that his comments are now made out to be a "rant". The world is not used to the graciousness of Gretzky--and we are shocked that even the Great One has a breaking point! Our athletes have had a tough time of it. Give them a break!
Lori Blinn

Yeah Go Gretzky! Thank God someone is willing to stand up and say enough. I for one am sick to death of the Canadian past time of complaining and cutting up our hockey players. This isn't the NHL, and these players are not being paid to play at the Olympics. Why can't we just be proud of our players and support them like we do the rest of athletes. It is disgraceful the way the Canadian media (let alone the international media) slag our hockey players-- this would never be done to any other Olympic Athlete. Enough! I fully support our hockey players --- win or lose GO TEAM CANADA!
Denise J

I don't think that the whole world wants Canada to lose. Speaking for myself, and as an American, I would like to see a U.S. - Canada Gold medal game (Women's hockey, too!). Of course I would like to see the U.S. win that game, but I would not relish the Canadians losing. If the U.S. gets bounced before then I will pull for Canada. I know how Gretzky feels though - he should try living as an American in Europe if he wants to really feel what it is like to have the "whole world" wanting you to lose. As for the comments' motivational effect, I think they probably will fire-up Team Canada before it is too late (for which he deserves credit). Best of luck!
Adam Rattray

I believe that Wayne Gretzky's comments were both well stated and well timed. As Canadians, we should start to empathize with the pressure these players are under in representing our Country and finally recognize that the game is a global game with superstar talent throughout the hockey world. Not just Canada. Perhaps we should start to have some faith that despite the outcome they (the players and coaching staff) will play their hearts out on behalf of all of us Canadians. I'm sure deep down Wayne Gretzky is appealing to all Canadians to support Team Canada in the same fashion that they are supporting us by playing their hearts out and never giving up on behalf of our Country. We the general public or hockey fan, that love the game of hockey, can perhaps learn from their desire, professionalism and passion to win. Perhaps we should not give up on them and support them through their losses as well as their victories. After all the critics are upset about their play but have neglected to comment on our play.
Gino Crisanti

I think the comments from Gretzky has no choice but to move Canada. These comments couldn't come at a better time and from a better person than Wayne himself. Wayne is right when he says, "The rest of the world wants Canada to lose", but it surely is in the same sense has the rest of MLB likes to see the Yankees lose. I strongly believe Canada is in for a medal, but which color will it have, we will soon find out.
 Part 1 All responses Part 3 

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