They call it Canada's National Passtime. For many, it is a religion, with rituals as strictly abided as any other belief system - a loonie beneath the ice surface, white towels to wave overhead. With the Olympic Games being played out on home ice, Canada's fanatacism for hockey is reaching new heights, and according to many, is overshadowing the true spirit of The Games.
Exacly one week ago, Nancy Greene Raine, a former olympic medallist herself, made public statements about how Canada's love for hockey overlooks the talented athletes involved in other sports. "There is no doubt in my mind a lot of great Canadian male amateur athletes, Olympic athletes, what they've done has not been properly recognized because they are not hockey players. That is something you have to live with as a Canadian." She says.
Also shocking - she appears to be right. A recent survey found that more Canadians would like Canada to win a gold medal in Men's Hockey than come first in overall medal standings.
This morning, The Stanley Cup made an appearance at the Robson Media center, accompanied by hockey legend Peter Stastny. The former player was adament in his response to the critisism on his sport's popularity.
As this morning's press conference came to a close, Stastny interrupted the moderator to make one final statement. "About that final question...you are Canadians. Hockey is part of your culture. You should be proud."