It's hard to believe that the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics are over. I never get to see as much of the Olympics as I'd like, and every two years as another winter/summer event passes, I regret not watching more of the action.
As a hockey fan, I was definitely treated to a world-class show.
The highlights of the final game between Canada and the United States are forever embedded into my brain. I wasn't around for the Miracle on Ice and therefore have to re-live those glorious moments through the recreation on film. Likewise, I wasn't involved enough to have experienced Olympic hockey just four years ago.
Sunday's Gold Medal game was more than anyone could have expected and I don't need Olympic history to tell me that.
When Zach Parise pushed the puck into the back of the net during the final seconds of the third period, I couldn't help but think...This moment, right here, THIS is why I love hockey!
I am proud to be an American and I am proud of the team that assembled in Vancouver to represent our magnificent country.
Watching Team USA battle against the Canadians, come back from a two-goal deficit, and force overtime was more than I could have asked for. Very few thought the Americans would bring home a medal of any color. Hell, many didn't see the Americans finishing in the top four.
My hat is off to the Canadian team. We all knew they were the powerhouse.
I'm not surprised that Canada won Gold. Canada simply did what was demanded of them: be victorious at "Canada's Game."
It was the Americans, however, who exceeded expectations . The Americans rose above speculations that they wouldn't be good enough to compete. They were a group of young men not good enough to be considered a contender.
And yet, they were better than "good enough"... they were fantastic .
The American team, so young and so inexperienced, went from being an underdog, to being a champion. A Silver Medal hangs around the necks of a group of talented hockey players who should be proud of their accomplishments in this tournament. They should be proud of the joy they've brought to the many American hockey fans across this country.
Watching as Ryan Miller, Jack Johnson, and Tim Thomas entered the closing ceremonies with smiles on their faces brought me to tears (sobbing, heaving tears). I hope these men have realized the impact they have made on young American athletes. Hockey across North America won an illustrious award when millions of people were treated to a world-class game...LIVE (thanks for figuring that one out NBC!).
As a fan from a small hockey market in Southern California, I want to say thank you. Thank you for giving me another reason to tell someone why hockey is so amazing, to remind them of what they're missing if they didn't experience the matchup of a lifetime.
To Team USA, winners of the Silver Medal at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, you are the champions of heart and determination. I'm impressed, I'm honored, and I'm proud of what you have done for this country, for hockey, and for yourselves. Congratulations on an amazing tournament, you have earned this!
DO NOT mess this up Gary Bettman...I am eagerly awaiting 2014 in Sochi, Russia!