A couple of thoughts, first from the perspective of a Team Canada fan, and again from the perspective of an Olympics fan.
As a Canadian, a hell of an Olympics. We set a record for number of medals, and bettered our total golds from Sochi. There were medals all around in many sports, the most exciting of which was in luge, where we went from three fourth place finishes in Sochi, to two medals. Not to mention our first luge medals ever. Speed skating also made a tremendous comeback, and there's a bright future ahead on both the short and long tracks. As for team sports, well, it was unfortunate. Utter disappointment in curling. To leave with no medals was pathetic. I stand by my original belief that Rachel Homan is a flake, who performs well domestically but chokes every single damn time on the international stage. The winner take all trials to decide the representatives in curling needs to change IMO. While smart on paper, we run the risk of being left with sub-par curlers like Homan, or Bernard in 2010. It was nice to watch the mixed doubles however, a great new addition to the Games, but I'd love to see more non-traditional curling nations represented next time, as that is the true purpose of the sport. In hockey, the women played very well, and as always the final was a crap shoot against the Americans. For the men, it sucked to see us lose to Germany, but nothing really below my expectations with the lack of NHLers. More on that in a moment. The silver lining to all of this is that we won 11 golds despite winning zero in the team sports, which we normally dominate. A testament to the COC and the great work they're doing developing our winter sport athletes.
For the Games themselves, I thought Korea did a great job. The weather was against them throughout, but they managed to put on a flawless Games. Unfortunately, I felt as though the Games did fly under the radar compared to the past, perhaps due to the lack of NHLers and big story lines coming into the Games. The combined march with North Korea was historic and great to see, and I truly think such an event could help lead to negotiations between the two sides down the road. It's awesome to watch how, despite the lard-ass sitting in the Oval Office only making things worse, an event like the Olympics can bring people together and strive for peace. I think that Moon is a very strong leader who has taken the correct steps towards conflict resolution despite the lack of proper help from allies like the United States. The Olympics were an important event in his pursuit of that goal. The truly special aspect of the Games was its return to simplicity after the extravagance of the last, making it truly feel like an Albertville or Lillehammer type Olympics. I think this bodes well for future bids from skeptical European nations, who have seen how to properly stage the Games.
For the NHL, the bargaining power now truly lies in their hands. The IOC has seen how much of a joke a non-NHL player hockey tournament is, and will need to give into their demands in the future. I expect them to want to be in Beijing to tap into such a massive market, as well as 2026 if they go to Calgary, who seem to be the frontrunner. It will be interesting to see what solution is made, as there are concessions that both sides will need to make.