Mr. Speaker, the first group of men and women of the most successful Canadian Winter Olympic team is returning home today. For all Canadians the last two weeks in Salt Lake City have been unforgettable. It was marvellous and incredible to see the class of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.
It was also marvellous to watch Marc Gagnon's incredible speed and the fact that Catriona Le May Doan proved wrong that it is impossible to be the flag bearer and win a gold medal.
The other day the women's hockey team won. It was unbelievable.
Yesterday the nation stood still. I do not know how many millions of people were watching the game but it was marvellous. Winning this game was very important because for the first time in 50 years our hockey team was coming back to Canada with a gold medal.
These are truly moments that we will never forget, seeing all these people who come from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the South to the North Pole, together on the ice.
They were skating, carrying the Canadian flag, shoulder to shoulder, people of French origin, British origin, many first and second generation Canadians, singing the national anthem and waving Canadian flags. All Canadians were so proud. The streets of Canada were filled with people who were joyful. There were probably not many homes in Canada that were not celebrating.
It was a day of great fraternity and solidarity, seeing these young men and women who have spent years preparing themselves, who wanted to be the best and who firmly believed that when you set your mind to it, you can do it. They have all overcome tremendous obstacles. Often, back home, people made fun of these athletes, because they were different.
I know some of these young people who took part in speed skating a few years ago, like Gaetan Boucher. People used to wonder what he was doing, as he was the only one in his sport. Now, in the space of ten years, Canadians dominate speed skating, because of pioneers like him. Yesterday was a day of glory.
Yesterday was a great day for all Canadians. It was a day of pride, a day of achievement, a day of brotherhood and a day where we stood side by side singing O Canada and being proud to be Canadian.