Number 10 - Shannon Szabados
No one fills out a set of goalie pads like Shannon Szabados. Of course, no one fills out a set of goalie pads, period. The netminder for the Women's Hockey Team combines the untamed locks of Nicole Kidman with the reflexes of the best NHL goalies. This 23-year-old rookie's spunk and performance are an inspiration to all who've watched her play, and after stonewalling the U.S. Women's team in the gold medal game, she's likely to reach national heroine status. The only reason she's not higher on this list is...well, the rest of the list.
Number 9 - Shannon Rempel
A medal favourite going into the games, Shannon was not in her best form in the Ladies 500m and 1000m speed skating contests, and finished out of the medals. Still, this list is not necessarily about gold (although it doesn't hurt), but about hot. And given that Shannon made UK tabloid The Sun's list of Top Ten women of the entire games, I can't very well leave her off, can I?
Number 8 - Cynthia Phaneuf
A bad fall during a Triple Lutz ended her quest for a Ladies Figure Skating medal, and put yet another roadblock in her path of claiming the title of Canada's best from the gutsy Joannie Rochette, who has eclipsed her since 2005. Still, at 22, she has many more years of competition left to her, and will no doubt continue to ramp up her game. And, for the purposes of this list, she is an undeniably attractive young lady. Hot, plus finishing in the top 15 despite her fall, combine to put her at number 8. See you in Sochi, Cynthia!
Number 7 - Regan Lauscher
Retiring from the luge after finishing in 15th spot in these games, Regan Lauscher's career has been marked by both stunning success and major challenges. As she hangs up her speed suit and moves on to prepare for a career in journalism, we have only one piece of advice for Regan. If you opt to do the broadcast thing, stay go back to being a brunette....it looked great on you, and it certainly seems to be working well for Erica Hill.
Number 6 - Mellisa Hollingsworth
Mellisa Hollingsworth is a skeleton slider, regularly bulleting down an ice-covered course at speeds of 80 mph - headfirst. It might then be safe to conclude that she is not only beautiful, but crazy as well - a combination that numerous women have managed to leverage for an ultimate overall hotness. In the case of this list, it brings her to number six. Going into the games, Mellisa was favoured for gold, but managed only a disappointing fifth-place finish. Still, her determination and the outpouring of support she's received from huge numbers of Canadians show her to be a class act indeed
Number 5 - Rosanna Crawford
Hmm. What is it about chicks with guns that so often seems to imbue them with 20% extra hotness? Biathlete Rosanna Crawford finished far back in the field in the Vancouver games, but considering her age (she's just 21), and the fact that she even qualified after missing the entire 2008/2009 season after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat (a HUGE problem for a shooter), it seems certain that we've not seen the last of this dual-threat in world competion.
Number 4 - Christine Nesbitt
Christine is my homey, so she would have to be included on any of my lists for that reason alone. Fortunately for my journalistic credibility, she's also mega-talented and very pretty in a healthy, girl-next-door sort of way. And, after scoring gold in the Ladies 1000m speed skate, she's one of the heroes who have helped Canada to its best gold medal count in any Winter Olympics. Christine is definitely picking up the mantle of Canada's Queen of Speed Skating being shed by departing skate goddess Clara Hughes with style, guts and beauty.
Number 3 - Cheryl Bernard
Having curled since I was 12, and most often as a Skip, I can say that no team sport places more pressure on an individual than curling does on that position. The 44-year-old Bernard cracked under that stress during the Gold-medal final against Sweden's Annette Nordberg rink, making three less-than-perfect shots to relinquish a dominant position. And she's pissed! "I can live with the shot in the 10th ... but the one in frickin' 11? That's the juiciest double you could ever look at, and I make 'em 100 times. Just a little bit tight, and that's the piss-off." Still, she has said that she will appreciate getting the Silver "an about 10 years or so", and as a curler, it will be a long time before I forget the incredibly attractive laser concentration. in her ice-blue eyes as she delivered those skip rocks. My one word of advice? Stop being so mean to your eyebrows, Cheryl!
Number 2 - Ashleigh McIvor
Competing in the debut of ski-cross as an Olympic winter event, many were not surprised to see the reigning world champ take the Gold. But what might come as a surprise to some is the fact that an essay she wrote may have played a role in ski-cross becoming an Olympic sport. Ashleigh's good looks and athletic poise have now attracted attention from Hollywood in addition to her existing sponsors, but she remains down to earth. The secret to her success, according to her? Healthy living and the support of her mom.
Number 1 - Tessa Virtue
Like Christine Nesbitt, Tessa Virtue and her partner Scott Moir are neighbours of mine, so I have to be careful about how thick I pile on the superlatives. Still, in their case, it's hard for anyone to say too much about their current dominance of the world of Pairs Ice Skating. Their gold medal performance left no one in doubt that they are the world's best, becoming not only the first Canadians, but the first North Americans, to win ice dancing gold. The 20-year-old Virtue is not only talented and athletic, but also exudes a sparkly charm that doubles her already considerable good looks, and as a 'couple' team, Virtue and Moir are an impossibly attractive pairing.
Special Award for Photogenics - Kimiko Zakreski
Who? Ultimately, this Top 10 Hot Canadian Olympic Chicks list is not about medals, or talent, or Canadian pride. It's really all about page views - and external hits, to be more precise. For example, while not the best article I've written, or the most popular on Newsvine, after a couple of years, my original Top Ten Canadian Hot Chicks article continues to be the most in-demand piece I've ever published here, in terms of external page views (or so says Google Analytics).
So, while that might be a sad commentary on society, I am bending to to demands of our culture and the norms of the Hot Chick group by giving snowboarder Kimiko Zakreski special mention and extra photographic real estate, solely because she had the photos most likely to light up the Google Image search function.
Still the choice is not all cynical. As a reality tv show star, blogger and dedicated Facebook user, Kimi represents the next generation of media savvy, communications-hip generation of athletes we are sure to see more of in Sochi, and is an exemplar of the wave of the future.
Besides, at the end of the day, this list is about hot. And Kimi certainly is that.