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Center Ice Cigars

David Savona
Posted: February 26, 2010

It was smoke on the (frozen) water last night when the women of Canada's Olympic hockey team defeated the Americans 2-0 in the gold medal contest. About an hour after the game, the victorious Canucks returned to the ice, lit up cigars, popped the corks on bottles of Champagne and opened cans of beer to celebrate the win.

The celebration was the cause of some controversy. "It is not what we want to see," Gilbert Felli, executive director of the Olympic Games, was quoted as saying on several news sites. "I don't think it's a good promotion of sport values. If they celebrate in the changing room, that's one thing, but not in public." He promised to launch an investigation.

Hockey Canada issued an apology late last night. "The members of Team Canada apologize if their on-ice celebrations, after fans had left the building, have offended anyone," read the statement, according to ESPN.com.

Yahoo Sports writer Chris Chase wrote that the crackdown seemed a bit harsh, given its context. "In past Olympics we've seen steroids, political boycotts, cheating and judging scandals," Chase wrote. "A few puffs of a cigar hardly seems to be in the same league."

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