For this Habs fan, the summer is always a trying time but particularly so when the Canadiens fail to even make the playoffs and play their last game in early April. Thankfully, this summer has been rather busy sports wise, we were treated to a wonderful Euro tournament from June 10th to July 10th where the host France fell just short of the crown, stumbling at the last obstacle against Ronaldo's Portugal. Come August, all eyes shifted to Rio where the 2016 summer Olympics took place. While the Russian doping scandal and the health scare about Zika overshadowed the weeks and months prior to the opening ceremony, once the flame was lit and the athletes took centre stage, we forgot all about that. As the games draw to a close, I thought it could be interesting to do a top 10 Olympics moment. Of course, I'm Canadian so there might be a slight bias but I do welcome comments, feel free to add your top moments in the thread.

10 – Team Great Britain wins gold in women's hockey

This is not the type of hockey we're used to around these parts but it's a big deal in the United Kingdom, over there, that's hockey and our hockey is referred to as ice-hockey. Nevertheless, team GB had never won gold in this event before and after a nail bitting final against the defending champions Netherlands with the scoreboard showing 3 goals on each side, penalties were necessary to crown a winner. It must also be said that Britain's goaltender was unbeatable in the shootout, Maddie Hinch truly allowed her team to reach the highest spot on the podium with a breathtaking performance.

9- Sweden shocks the soccer world by beating the USA's women team

Amy Wambach might have retired, but Uncle Sam's outfit remains a force to be reckoned. Rapinoe, Hope Solo and Carly Lloyd are all still integral parts of the team and most football fan expected them to get yet another gold medal but it just wasn't meant to be. Hope Solo can call the Swedes cowards all she wants for playing a shall we say defense minded game, but at the end of the day, David was able to slay Goliath on penalty kicks before also beating Brazil on their way to the gold medal game. They were unable to see off the Germans but that silver medal probably felt like gold for the over-achieving country who sat in 6th position in FIFA's world ranking.

8- Michael Phelps winning – again and again

There has never been a more dominating swimmer in the history of the world. In these olympics alone, Phelps added 6 medals to his rather impressive collection, 5 gold and one silver in the men's 100m butterfly where he was denied by Joseph Schooling from Singapore who had worshiped him his whole life. In the end, Phelps ends his olympic career with 28 medals, 23 of which are gold. One can legitimately wonder if there will ever be such a dominant athlete in any sport ever again. The only certainty though is that the world will miss him dearly come 2020. In Canada, Elliot Friedman was the descriptor for a few of Phelps' events and in one of them, he got his lanes mixed up and uttered the words: “Phelps is completely out of it!”, Canada was quick to take to Twitter to criticize the poor journalist who until then, had done a stellar job. Canadians are passionate about sports and when such a champion competes, the nation cannot help but root for him and for a second, Friedman had wrongfully crushed their hopes a crime not easily forgiven apparently. Don't worry Friedman, hockey will still be back and all will be forgotten.



7- Canada's men team makes the Volleyball quarter finals

Volleyball has never really been Canada's strong suit, in fact, it had been a while since the Canadian team made the olympics (last appeared in Barcelona in 1992). Just the fact that the team qualified for the olympics was quite an achievement but the boys were not satisfied, they wanted more. Against all odds, the 12th team in the world managed to upset the 4th and 5th teams in the world rankings (Italy and the USA). Unfortunately, the fairytale ended with a loss against the powerful Russians in the quarter final but it was still an incredible moment to see Glenn Hoag coach his final game and tearfully hug his son Nick Hoag (and one of the team's best player) as the curtain fell on their tournament and his national team coaching career.

6- The Olympic Couple

Every single athlete represent their country in the olympics and roots for its teammates, that's just the way it works. But sometimes, these amazing athletes end up rooting for another country as well because that's their significant other's country. Enter Brianne Theisen-Eaton and Ashton Eaton. She's a Canadian heptathlon athlete and grabbed the nation's first medal in the discipline (bronze) while he's the undisputed American king of decathlon. Eaton lead the 10 events discipline from start to finish and was never worried about not finishing top. But besides the performance, what was really cool to see was the way they were both rooting for each other because nationalism is one thing but we should never ever forget that we are all citizens of the world and that frontiers mean very little. Theisen-Eaton's joy at her husband's golden success didn't prevent her from being happy for Damian Warner who took third place in decathlon and the people who dared calling the couple traitors have yet to understand what the olympics are about which is celebrating excellence from whichever country it may come from.

5 – Wiebe's gold medal celebration

I'll admit I know or understand very little about olympic wrestling, growing up wrestling for me meant nothing else than Ultimate Warrior taking on Hulk Hogan or Macho Man saying “Oh yeah” at the top of his lungs but one thing I do know and understand is a good old fashion celebration. Erica Wiebe competed in the olympics for the first time this year, she was in London in 2012 but only as another olympian's training partner. She came to Rio to win and she most certainly did leaving with the gold medal after a dominating match for the gold medal but the highlight was without a doubt the way she celebrated by running a celebratory lap around the map with her coach perched on her shoulders...needless to say the nation's heart melted right there.


4- The 16 year old who took the olympic pools by storm

When you're 16 and attending your first games, you aimed to learn a lot and maybe, in your wildest dreams, you think that just maybe you could win a medal. Penny Oleksiak did much more than just learn in her first games, she became Canada's first athlete to win 4 medals in a single summers olympic by grabbing a silver medal in the 100m butterfly, the gold medal in the 100m freestyle (ex aequo with the American Simone Manuel to set a new olympic record), and bronze medals in the freestyle 4x200m relay and the 4x100m freestyle relay. More than the wins though it's her attitude and the way she handled herself that captured the nation's heart. I mean, just look at the picture of her face as she found out she had won gold, the innocence, the joy and the disbelief all wrapped into one...As I write this, the identity of Canada's flag bearer in the closing ceremony is not yet known but if I was a betting woman, my money would be on this pretty Penny.


3- Synchronized diving brings another Bronze medal to Canada
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One of the events I most enjoy watching is the diving, there is something fascinating about watching athletes hurl themselves off the platform or diving board and fall in such controlled manner while pulling off these amazing form. Canada fell in love with the discipline through Sylvie Bernier at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, a love renewed through Annie Pelletier and her bronze medal in Atlanta in 1996 and kept strong through Alexandre Despatie's 2 silver medals in 2004 and 2008. This year though, all eyes were on Roseline Fillion and Meaghan Benfeito as these olympics were Fillion's swan song and it was widely known that she wouldn't be back in 2020. The girls did Canada proud by repeating their bronze medal feat of the London olympics at the 10m synchronized platform and Benfeito even won another bronze medal in the solo event adding icing on the cake. Those who watched that event will never forget the hug filled with emotion Benfeito and Filion gave each other on that day after Filion's last ever olympic dive.

2- Canada's national women football team repeat their London feat

It's a well known fact that Canada's sport is hockey, ice-hockey to be exact but in the last 10 years, football or soccer has seen a huge increase in popularity amongst youngsters. It's hard to pinpoint a sole reason for that but one can be sure that this team as a part in that. In 2008, in Beijing the team couldn't do better than an 8th place finish but in London in 2012, they claimed the bronze medal to the world's surprise. The general feeling was that it was all a one time fluke but lo and behold they did it again in Rio. Canada might only be 10th in the world according to FIFA's ranking but in the last two weeks, it beat Germany (the eventual gold medalist) in the group stage and saw off the home favorite Brazil in the bronze medal game. Christine Sinclair was once again the hero with the game winning goal, she's now the second highest scoring female football player in olympic history behind the Brazil Icon that is Cristiane. This tournament was also Melissa Tancredi's last olympics and you could see it in Sinclair's face as she hugged her post win and tears were streaming down her face...We've seen these two players hug a lot over the years and no doubt both team Canada and the fans will miss the one the affectionally called “Tanc”.


1- The Bolt/De Grasse bromance

What remains to be said about Hussain Bolt? Not much really the man is a phenomenon! It wasn't just Jamaica that was rooting for him these olympics, everyone wanted him to grab gold once again and become the first man to get triple triple gold (100m, 200m sprint and 4x1 relay in 3 consecutive olympics) and he sure delivered. As the world cheered on, us Canadians were pleasantly surprised to see their promising youngster Andre De Grasse grab bronze in the 100m, silver in the 200m and another bronze in the 4x100m relay. Aside from the results though, it became evident throughout the games that Bolt and De Grasse got along like a house on fire shall we say. It was especially obvious in the 200m semi-final when Bolt before crossing the finish line took a little look behind him and gave De Grasse a smile when he saw him in second place. That picture has already been seen by everyone and been reused in several meme, my personal favorite can be seen below.


Tonight, the game will be over and it's impossible to feel like they haven't met expectations. Sure, there wasn't that many fans in the stands and they were sometimes rather hostile to athletes from other nation which was a stark contrast to the overly polite British public from 4 years ago but the world was entertained and marvelled at amazing athletes for 2 weeks which is what it's all about. As regular programming resumes on our TV sets we can now look forward to World Series Baseball, the World Cup of Hockey and the return of the NHL in October. While I did love the games, I cannot wait to see my favorite sport back on our screens. I hope you all had a great summer filled with sports memories and that you are ready for the hectic months ahead.