Men's ice hockey, Salt Lake City Olympics, 2002, gold medal: Canada!" The 10.6 million viewers also shattered the previous record of 4.957 million viewers for Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, according to the CBC. It was also more than any other program in Canadian history except for the 2006 Winter Olympics opening ceremony (12.789 million) and the closing ceremony (12.568 million).
Canada has won the gold medal in ice hockey nine times. The country's only other medal success is a silver medal in curling in 2010.
The Canadians are considered one of the best ice hockey teams in world history. They have won or been close many times, including five consecutive Olympic gold medals from 1998 to 2012.
Canada's national team is made up of players from across the country, with each province having its own team called "Hockey Canada", which is separate from the main organization that controls the women's team. Each province selects their own team members who must be citizens of Canada.
In addition to playing against international opponents, the Canadians play an important role in developing young talent. Nearly half of all NHL players were born in Canada, and over 80 percent of those players were born after 1969, when national team training programs were started.
In the United States, NBC's live broadcast of the gold medal hockey game received a 10.7 rating, the highest-rated Olympic or NHL hockey game since the 1980 Winter Olympics, and the greatest network hockey audience in the United States in 22 years. It also earned an average audience of 24 million people, making it the most-watched event so far this summer.
In Canada, the CBC's delayed broadcast of the gold medal game drew a national household rating of 2.9, the highest-rated program in the network's history. The game also attracted 1.8 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic, besting any previous CBC prime time show.
The Vancouver action drew strong audiences throughout most of North America. In the United States, the game averaged a 12.4 rating/25 share in the key adult demographic on NBC, making it the highest-rated event so far this summer. It also earned a 16.3 rating/30 share in Canada, where it topped all other programming except for the opening ceremony and curling.
These numbers make the gold medal game the most-watched event thus far this summer. They're also up from last year's game, which averaged a 9.0 rating in the United States and 1.5 in Canada.
There have been many comparisons between today's game and the 1972 Munich massacre game.
Canada achieved a new national record with 17 Winter Olympic medals, including seven gold. Canada's return to ice hockey prominence was one of the Games' major storylines, as both the men's and women's teams won gold, defeating the home favorite Americans in each final. The men's 5-2 victory broke a 50-year gold medal drought. The women's game was more closely contested, with the United States taking the lead early on but Canada responding with three straight wins to take top spot.
The Canadian men's team had never before won gold at a Winter Olympics. They were led by young stars Ryan Miller of Whistler, B.C., and Jonathan Toews of South Town, Manitoba, who together became only the second pair of teammates to win gold medals at two different events (the other being Soviet goalie Vladislav Tretiak and American player Wayne Gretsky). The Canadians also captured the imagination with their flashy "passing" style of play, which relied heavily on quick shots from the point (the name given to the area directly in front of the net where players like to shoot because balls are usually there to be scored on).
In addition to winning gold, the Canadian women's team set a new Olympic record by winning the first four games of their semifinal match against Sweden, before losing 4-1. The Canadians rebounded from that defeat by beating Russia 7-0 to claim their third consecutive gold medal in women's ice hockey.