by Ralph Routon
So the long-awaited Olympic men's hockey game between Canada and the United States is about to start, but nobody around me is looking at the ice. They're staring up to my right, a few rows higher. So I look to see who would be worth all that much attention — and it was hard to tell.
That's because several of Canada's most famous people are sitting only about 30 feet away in the 20,000-seat Canada Hockey Place.
And I couldn't tell if the people around me were most interested in Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper wearing a red Canada hockey sweater, or perhaps hockey icon Wayne Gretzky, sitting beside Harper.
Actually, the spectators must have seen enough of Harper and Gretzky around the Winter Games. Because they appeared to be much more concerned with seeing actor Donald Sutherland in the flesh. Sutherland, sitting by himself a row in front of the prime minister and the world's most revered hockey player, looked far more interested in the hockey game than anyone around him.
And when Canada scored to take a 1-0 lead in the first period, nobody was applauding more than Sutherland, who was one of the well-known Canadians (others included singer Anne Murray and former hockey star Bobby Orr who carried the Olympic flag into the opening ceremonies back on Feb. 12.