Hundreds line up to meet Olympians

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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Kevin Martin shows off his gold medal. Photo by The Canadian Press

Halifax -

Shaking noticeably and tears streaming down her face, the young woman looked like she was hanging off Brad Pitt instead of Kevin Martin, but that's what a shiny medal will do for even curlers.
The weeping woman was among several hundred fans who waited in line for hours Friday afternoon for a chance to meet Canada's Olympic men's curling championship rink.
For more than two hours, Martin and his team of John Morris, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert signed autographs, posed for photos, and allowed people to hold their gold medals.
So many showed up, the line snaked the length of the concourse at the Halifax Metro Centre, out the door and up the street.
In the end, many had be turned away.
"For us, it's not normal to have a crowd go out the door and around the corner - I'm not sure where it went exactly," an impressed Martin said later.
"I don't think we're movie stars, I'm not that good actor," he continued with a laugh. "It's definitely been interesting the last few days. ... You just have to soak it in and cherish it because things like that don't last forever."
In the words of Kennedy, life for the Martin rink has been "a gong show" since the Edmonton foursome went unbeaten in Vancouver to capture Olympic gold.
They got a taste of what was to come shortly after their victory when they were being driven to the CTV studio for an interview with anchor Brian Williams.
The van was swarmed by revellers as it pulled up outside.

"It's the closest we'll ever get to being the Beatles, it was ridiculous," said Kennedy. "There had to be 1,500 people on the street screaming and cheering and trying to get up to us.
"We had a security line blocking traffic so we could walk through. It was awesome."
Thousands also turned up for their homecoming Monday in Edmonton and life has been on warp speed since.
Morris said what used to be a 15-minute scoot for groceries has "turned into two- or three-hour trips" because of the crowds.
"One of things that really sticks out is the amount of pride that we witnessed personally and as a team and nation," he said. "Just being outside in Vancouver, the mobs of people bleeding Canada and being proud to be Canadian. I'll never forget those moments."
Martin was in Edmonton only long enough to bring his medal to daughter Mykaela's show-and-tell at school.
"To see them that excited was very special," he said of the kids. "And you want to share it, especially with people that age, because hopefully you're making an impact. Not getting them into curling necessarily but getting them into sport.
"Getting them into healthy choices, that means a lot."

Organizations: Halifax Metro Centre, CTV, Beatles

Geographic location: Canada, Edmonton, Vancouver

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  • M. Theresa
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    The curling, the hockey and the skating,the skiing, no matter what the end result was I was sooo very proud of each and every Canadain ! One skier said , she felt like she let down Canada , No way, each and every contestant who hit the slopes and the ice did Canada PROUD!!! We Thank-you

  • M. Theresa
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    The curling, the hockey and the skating,the skiing, no matter what the end result was I was sooo very proud of each and every Canadain ! One skier said , she felt like she let down Canada , No way, each and every contestant who hit the slopes and the ice did Canada PROUD!!! We Thank-you