I had nursed the faint hope that perhaps sports imperialism in the form of pro athletes in the hockey portion of the Winter Olympics would due out because the NHL would not alter its season to accommodate the pros in the Games. But alas (as I am in many areas since I got married!) I was wrong:
The NHL announced Friday the League will pause the 2013-14 regular-season schedule from Feb. 9-25 so its players can participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics, to be held in Sochi, Russia. The decision to again send NHL players to the Olympics was a joint agreement between the League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association.
The dozen nations competing for gold in Sochi are Russia, Slovakia, the United States, Slovenia, Finland, Canada, Norway, Austria, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland and Latvia. NHL players should have a presence on each of the 12 teams.
Looks like money talks and amateurs drop dead!
After weeks of tough negotiations, the NHL and its players reached a deal with the International Ice Hockey Federation on Friday to put the season on hold again so the game’s biggest stars can compete in next year’s Olympics in Sochi.
I am in a bind; I can’t root for any team that has pro athletes. I am reduced again to selecting the team with the lowest number of pros. Once again, no Miracle on Ice. For the view of former 1980 coach, the late Herb Brooks, go here:
“…a few years later, the US began using professional athletes at the Games: Dream Teams. I always found that term ironic because now that we have Dream Teams, we seldom ever get to dream.”
Nobody else gets to dream either. It’s sports imperialism, fueled by money, television and larger nations who can afford a professional program. Don’t believe me? Ask a wrestler! No small hockey nation can even get in. Even Belarus and Germany did not make the 2014 Games. I know not what others may do, said Patrick Henry, but Sandy here knows what he’ll do: No hockey, root for the USA curling (Richmond now has curling this Olympic season – here’s where to find out more and I am not even a board member so my opinions are my own!), cheer for USA in all those obscure sports such as Nordic Combined and root for all those nations who never have won a medal, all set to Yanni, as Michael Callahan at the Philly Post wrote in 2012, if necessary!