Picking up where they left off when Canada's women faced the United States for gold, both Stephen Harper and Jack Layton latched on to Wayne Gretzky in a bid to polish their respective Olympic images.
The Prime Minister and his son Ben took in Sunday's gripping men's final with the hockey legend in Vancouver. Having brought along his official photographer, Mr. Harper managed to capture for posterity his reaction to the heartbreaking U.S. equalizer, the moment of victory in overtime and even his trip to the locker room to congratulate the champions.
Across the country, the NDP Leader watched the game at Mr. Gretzky's bar in Toronto. The result was somewhat different.
In a clip broadcast between periods Mr. Layton, who was joined by his wife and fellow MP Olivia Chow, raises his arms in celebration as Canada nets its second goal. He also reaches out and lowers the arms of another bar patron. Some suggest this was an intentional bid to stay in the shot; the NDP Leader's press secretary says otherwise.
"The TV screen was up there, he moved her arm to be able to see," Karl Bélanger told The Globe. "She was clearly not upset or anything like that. She is a friend of a former NDP candidate who happened to sit beside them for the game. They shared a great Canadian moment and enjoyed a few beers together."
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, meanwhile, shunned the cameras and instead put pen to paper, crafting an op-ed on what Canada's record Olympic medal haul means for the national psyche and its place in the world. In a line that could also be applied to how he and his rivals sought out the spotlight, he said: "The Games taught us that we need to focus on what we do best and then be unsparingly disciplined about continuing to be the best."
(Photo: Jason Ransom/PMO)