I'm jacked up for the 2010 Winter Games and it's still four years away.
For the past two weeks, I've been glued to the TV and Internet enjoying coverage of the 2006 Games in Italy.
Team Canada started off slowly and finished strong.
Twenty-four medals (seven gold, 10 silver and seven bronze) and a third place showing behind Germany and the U.S. mark the best showing Canada has ever had at the Winter Games. They bested the 17 medals they won in 2002 in Salt Lake.
Canada had tremendous per-formances and tremendous defeats. (Don't get me started on the pathetic showing by our men's hockey team.)
Speed skaters accounted for 12 of our medals. Cindy Klassen brought home five of them. Klassen is all class. She is now Canada's most decorated Games athlete. In 2010 she'll be at the peak of her career. The sky's the limit for her.
Our women's hockey team was another fabulous story. Back-to-back gold medals and a dominating performance at the Games. The women could have shown a thing or two to the men's team.
And don't forget the curling teams either. Shannon Kleibrink's Alberta foursome won bronze, and Brad Gushue from Newfoundland brought home the first men's gold medal in curling in three Olympics.
Canadian Olympic officials set their sights on 25 medals prior to the Games. They hit the mark almost dead on.
The news is even brighter for the future when you factor in 13 fourth-place finishes and seven fifth-place finishes by our athletes. A few tenths of a second faster in some cases could have landed Canada in first place ahead of Germany.Heading into 2010, Canada has a plan. They want to own the podium, finish first in their home country. They certainly seem well on their way.
I'm proud to be a Canadian after witnessing such a tremendous showing from our athletes. The power of sport is amazing.
Closer to home, athletes from the Sunshine Coast shone bright in Trail at the B.C. Winter Games last weekend.
Joe Antilla won a silver medal in hockey, while speed skate Nicole Maseja finished 12th overall, achieving personal best times in all her events.
Both these athletes will certainly be old enough to compete in 2010. Being able to cheer on some Coast athletes right in our own back yard - it would be awesome.
This brings me to the recreation issue that is currently before our local governments. An international ice surface is being pushed instead of NHL-sized ice for the new Gibsons community centre.
International ice is the way to go. Our athletes on the Coast, like Joe and Nicole and countless others, need the best facilities and the best opportunities for training.
Canada will own the podium in 2010. Wouldn't it be great to see a Coaster up there shining in the spotlight? Let's make every effort to see that happen.