VANCOUVER/WHISTLER (News1130) – Over the course of 17 magical days last February, Canadian athletes set out to “Own the Podium” at the Vancouver/Whistler Winter Games. Little did we know, it would be the very top of the podium.

Canada started on the right foot with a history making moment. Alex Bilodeau delivered the country its first Olympic gold medal on home soil after winning the Men’s Moguls event.

The party was just getting started. Canada would go on to top all gold medal winners for any Winter Games, producing heroes from all corners of the country. They are:

Maelle Ricker – Ladies’ Snowboard Cross
Christine Nesbitt – Ladies’ Long Track Speed Skating 1000 metres
Jon Montgomery - Men’s Skeleton
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir - Ice Dance
Ashleigh McIvor - Ladies’ Ski Cross
Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse - Women’s Bobsleigh Women’s Ice Hockey
Charles Hamelin - Men’s Short Track Speed Skating 500 metres
Charles Hamelin, Francois Hamelin, Olivier Jean and Francois-Louis Tremblay - Short Track Speed Skating Men’s 5000 Metre Relay
Mathieu Giroux, Lucas Makowsky and Denny Morrison - Speed Skating Men’s Team Pursuit
Jasey Jay Anderson - Men’s Snowboard Parallel Giant Slalom
Kevin Martin, John Morris, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert - Men’s Curling

Our athletes came to these Games not with a swagger, but with a confidence they could do it. They believed in themselves inspiring an entire nation to believe in itself. That was most evident on the final day when at 7:40 of the overtime period, Sidney Crosby scored the game winning goal to give Canada its crowning moment in the Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament.

Fourteen is the greatest number of gold any Canadian Olympic team – summer or winter – has ever brought home, or in this case, won at home. All are moments in time this country will never forget. And that is why we can say our athletes certainly did “Own the Podium.”

We kicked off our countdown with Randy Quaid fiasco last Monday, followed by the triumph of Canucks’ captain Henrik Sedin. Our No. 8 story was the young Asian man who made it into Canada disguised as an old white man.  That was followed by the controversial bike lanes.  The new hands-free cell phone and tough drinking and driving laws, and the murder of Laura Szendrei were No. 6 and  No. 5 respectively. After that came Carol Berner’s sentencing. At No. 3 was the Harmonized Sales Tax. The No. 2 story of 2010 was the BC Liberal and NDP leaderships.

You can check out our recap of the year in photos.