Olympic Fever Iced By Canadian Library February 15, 2010 – Tags: Archives, Libraries, Library and Archives Canada, Portrait Gallery Of Canada, Winter Olympics
(Serigraph On Paper by Andy Warhol, 1983.)
(Platinum Print by Bryan Adams, 2004.)
Calgary’s Jamie Salé and her pairs-skating partner, David Pelletier, are the only Winter Olympic athletes ever to win a silver medal AND a gold medal in a single event for the same performance. At the 2002 Salt Lake City games, Salé and Pelletier skated a flawless long program to music from the motion picture Love Story. (A prophetic choice of music as the skaters became husband and wife in 2005.) Since their Russian rivals, Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze, had made a minor error on a jump, onlookers were certain the Canadian pair would take home the gold. But when the judges scores were announced, it was the Russian pair who came out on top. To a chorus of boos and jeers, Salé and Pelletier graciously accepted the silver medal, but the controversy remained. The next day an admission, by a French judge that she had given the gold to the Russian pair in exchange for a first-place vote for a pair of French ice dancers, led to a second gold medal being awarded to Salé and Pelletier. A complete overhaul of the scoring system in figure skating was a direct result of this headline-making judging scandal.
(Color Photograph, 1973.)
The Library and Archives Canada exhibit will remain on display in Vancouver and Ottawa through March 22, 2010. The exhibit is also available online for those unable to visit those cities, but looking for a bit of Olympic history to enrich their enjoyment of the 2010 Winter Games. More than one new Canadian champion is certain to be added to this roster of Olympic royalty before the end of the Vancouver competitions.