Olympics Today: Canadians come marching in…with cellphones

Beginning today and during each day of the Games, Olympics Today will keep you up to date on the biggest news and happenings, on and off the field of play.

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Strength in numbers (of veteran Olympians)

Flag bearers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who won ice-dancing gold in 2010 and silver in 2014, were far from the only recognizable faces in the Canadian crowd at the Olympic opening ceremony.

As I watched a large Canadian group offer bundled-up waves to the sparse crowd in attendance, I was struck by how experienced and deep this assembly of athletes is. The Canadian female Olympic hockey team is looking for a fifth straight gold medal and the men are chasing their third straight. Bobsleigh pilot Kaillie Humphries is likewise going for a third consecutive gold.

Charles Hamelin is a four-time Olympic medalist and could leave these Olympic Games the most decorated Olympian in Canadian history. Mikael Kingsbury is the most decorated moguls skier in history and won silver in 2014. Speed skater Denny Morrison is also a four-time Olympic medalist.

If Canada doesn’t surpass the 25 medals they came home with in 2014 it will be a bit of a disappointment.

Capturing golden moments
The other thing that jumped off the screen as the Canadians entered the opening ceremony is the fact that we’re a very mobile-friendly country. Compared to most other countries, the Canadians had a higher percentage of athletes filming the proceedings with their cellphones.

Although, thankfully, the Canadians didn’t have as may selfie sticks as some of the other nations, which is never a good look.

Team Korea’s re-introduction
Two members of the Korean women’s hockey team — one from South Korea and one from North Korea — were joint torch bearers to close the opening ceremony. It was a show of unity between the two nations, but the decision to merge into a single team will continue to be a controversial topic as we’ve already seen protests of North Korea’s participation at the Olympics.

The hope is blending the athletes from the Korean peninsula will ease tensions, but the two teams walked together in the opening ceremony in 2006 and we didn’t see much political change after that.