Monday, February 27, 2006

Two Lessons Canada Can Learn From the Torino Hockey Tournament

At the conclusion of the men's Olympic hockey tournament where heavily favored Canada failed to win a medal, I think there are two lessons that can be taken away.

Lesson One: It is not the end of the world to not win a medal. In fact, Sweden failed to make the medal round in Nagano and again in Salt Lake City. In Salt Lake City they were upset by Belarus, a nation that was not even good enough to qualify for the 2006 Olympics. Despite that, their hockey program was not damaged beyond repair. The same hockey program that didn't win a medal in 2002 came back with a core of roughly the same players (Sundin, Alfredsson, Forsberg, Lidstrom...) and won the gold medal. That is true for Canada too. They will likely be the gold medal favorite once again in Vancouver even without some kind of commission to determine what is wrong and why Canada failed to medal in 2006.

Lesson Two: There are seven different countries (Canada, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Russia, USA and Slovakia) who have the ability to go on a good run for a week and win Olympic gold. It is not Canada's birthright to win in. There are several teams they will play against who have a serious chance of winning and must be taken seriously. Even those countries that are not capable of winning the gold such as Switzerland or Latvia are capable of playing a good game and upsetting a top team. Every game must be taken seriously.

Enjoyed a lot! »
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