IOC plans a letter but no investigation into Canadian women’s hockey celebration
VANCOUVER (CP) — The International Olympic Committee is playing down an on-ice celebration by the Canadian women’s hockey team.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams said a letter is being drafted to Canadian Olympic officials to get more details on the impromptu party the Canadian women threw at Canada Hockey Place after winning gold at the Winter Games, Thursday.
“ To be honest I think people are in search of a story that doesn’t exist,” Adams told a briefing Friday when asked about the incident. “ There were pictures all over the front pages and so on this morning and I think people are looking for someone to say it’s terrible.
“At the moment we just are going to write a letter and I guess we will just be asking for some clarifications, some explanation of what occurred. For the time being, until that letter is written and a response is got, I can’t really comment any further.”
Hockey Canada has already apologized for the incident, saying: “In the excitement of the moment, the celebration left the confines of our dressing room and shouldn’t have.”
Adams suggested that prompt apology may have largely ended the matter, although the IOC would await a response to its pending letter.
Canadian players, still wearing their uniforms and with gold medals draped around their necks, celebrated their victory by drinking champagne and beer at centre ice following a 2-0 win over the United States.
Marie-Philip Poulin, who scored both goals for Canada in the final, was shown on the ice with a can of beer in hand. Poulin doesn’t turn 19, the legal drinking age in British Columbia, until next month. The drinking age in Alberta, where the Canadian team trains, and Poulin’s native Quebec is 18.
A VANOC spokesman suggested Poulin may have overlooked the fact the drinking age was different in B.C.
Asked whether the men’s team would have come under the same scrutiny had they taken the ice with drinks and cigars in hand, Adams said he didn’t know.
“On that I’m not sure because the scrutiny isn’t coming from the IOC, the scrutiny is coming from most or all of the front pages of all of the Canadian press and television,” he said. “ Will they come under the same scrutiny, your guess is as good as mine. That’s always obviously assuming that they win on that day.”
Canada’s Marie-Phillip Poulin, left, and teammate Tessa Bonhomme smoke cigars and drink beer following their gold medal win over the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Thursday.