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Ron Shillingford
Pinnacle Media Group Ltd.
PO Box 1365 GT
Grand Cayman KY1-1108
T: 345-525-0544

Ron Shillingford has been a journalist since 1982 and has worked in print, TV and radio, mostly in London where he was born. His favourite sport is boxing and exclusive interviews have included Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard. His assignments have taken him to America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. He is also the author of three books, one of which, a martial arts handbook, has been translated into Polish, Russian and Japanese.

Ron Shillingford Blog
A golden clincher
Ron Shillingford
01 March 2010

So it all went to script with an extra twist to heighten the excitement. Canada really did Own the Podium after securing hockey gold against arch-rivals USA. In overtime, no less. What an epic finale.

Pity I couldn’t see it live. Got to the entrance and was turned away for having the wrong ticket, even though the International Olympic Committee official who gave it to me insisted it was valid despite my queries. Ah well, that was one of few personal mishaps in an otherwise brilliant Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler.

Hockey, Canada’s no.1 sporting passion, has a new convert. I will no longer abruptly turn over from the Cayman TV channel when NHL comes on every Saturday night for a zillion hours. Bring on the power plays!

It now warrants a passing glimpse at least and even longer if any players called Crosby, Nash, Brodeur or Luongo are involved, especially Crosby. He had a relatively quiet tournament but produced the goods when it really mattered for that sensational gold medal clincher.

The Games will hold many fond memories, not least the friendliness of the Canadians, particularly when spotting my Cayman Islands coat. “It’s a bit warmer in Cayman than here,” I often heard, but the genuine warmth from locals rivalled tropical sun – and it was not contrived either. Canadians have an immense reputation for their accommodating nature. It showed with endearing brilliance for a fortnight. Coming home in the early hours weary after a long day’s work, I was cheered by a couple of Canadian girls chanting: “Go Cayman go!” Completely spontaneous. (Their dads must have a financial interest there.)

Apart from seeing Dow Travers do superbly in the giant slalom, my best moment was going to my first ever hockey match, when USA beat Canada 5-3. Priceless. Bring on Sochi, the next Winter Games, in Russia. Going there has never appealed, but if it’s half as good as Vancouver the Russians had better pile up their vodka stocks from now.
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