London, Feb. 27 (ANI): The Olympic gold medal winning Canadian women's ice hockey team had to apologise after being criticised for celebrating its victory with champagne, beer and cigars on the ice rink.
"The members of Team Canada apologise if their on-ice celebrations, after fans had left the building, have offended anyone. In the excitement of the moment the celebration left the confines of our dressing room and shouldn't have," The Telegraph quoted Hockey Canada, as saying.
Just half an hour after beating the United States 2-0, victorious Canadian players emerged from the dressing room, still in their uniforms and with gold medals hanging from their necks.
During their impromptu celebration on the Vancouver ice rink, Haley Irwin was pictured pouring champagne into the mouth of team-mate Tessa Bonhomme, while another player tried to drive the ice-resurfacing machine and honked the horn, the paper says.
Others lay stretched out on the ice drinking from champagne bottles and beer cans.
Marie-Philip Poulin, 18, who scored both goals, is still under the legal drinking age of 19 in Vancouver but was pictured on the ice with a beer in her hand. The drinking age in Alberta, where the Canadian team trains, is 18, it adds.
IOC executive director of the Olympic games has ordered investigation in the episode.
"It is not what we want to see. I don't think it's a good promotion of sport values. If they celebrate in the changing room, that's one thing, but not in public. We will investigate what happened," Gilbert Felli, IOC executive director of the Olympic games, said.
The alcohol-fuelled celebration is believed to have happened after the players were asked to go back onto the ice to have their photographs taken.
Steve Keough, a spokesman for the Canadian Olympic Committee, said: "In terms of the actual celebration, it's not exactly something uncommon in Canada. It was not our intention to go against any Olympic protocols." (ANI)