VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Canada says the gold rush on its soil is coming. It's just a matter of when and where it gets discovered first.
Organizers from the home country of the Vancouver Games insisted Sunday they feel no pressure about breaking their gold medal drought. No athlete from Canada has topped the podium at any of the three Olympics it has hosted.
"We know it's going to be there. It's going to happen at some point," said Chris Rudge, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee. "Sometimes whoever gets the first one is a case of fortuitous timing."
The moment almost came Saturday. To the delight of roaring fans at Cypress Mountain, Jenn Heil blazed down the moguls course to take first place. Then the last skier, American Hannah Kearney — whose mother is from Montreal and who has relatives in Vancouver — put together the run of a lifetime to steal the gold.
"For me, I didn't see the difference in the value of what date a medal is won," Heil said after claiming the silver. "Canadians can be assured that that medal is coming on home soil."
It's no secret Canada is hungry for gold. It started an $110 million program called Own the Podium, publicizing the drought to build excitement for the Winter Games and setting the bold goal of claiming the most medals here.
"We know it's a seminal moment in the minds of many Canadians," Rudge told reporters.
The home country was shut out at the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary.
Canada had a chance to break through later Sunday at the men's moguls competition with four skiers, including Alexandre Bilodeau of Montreal as one of the favorites.
But there was also the prospect of a particularly painful loss. Another favorite is Dale Begg-Smith, born in Vancouver but competing for Australia.
"We have four athletes in there," Rudge said optimistically. "In a sense, we have five athletes. Unfortunately, one of them is wearing an Australian uniform."