I will admit growing up in Texas as you can imagine, there’s not too much ice or snow or any type of cold weather sports that are actually played outside. Once in a while there might be snow during a football game and that would be about it. So my first exposure to hockey was really watching Disney’s live action movie, The Mighty Ducks (not to be confused with the later animated cartoon). And for some unknown reason the sport fascinated me, a girl the flitted from gymnastics to ballet to dance to track to tennis (not exactly team sports and not exactly contact sports either) with stops along with way with softball and basketball.
Hockey has some great stories, like the “Miracle on Ice,” when a team of inexperienced American college players beat the Red Machine of the USSR in the 1980 Lake Placid Games to advance to the gold medal game; the traditions of the Stanley Cup; the stories of little boys learning to skate on the same frozen over lakes and ponds that their fathers and even their grandfathers learned to skate on; etc.
On the official website for the Vancouver Games there was this sweet story of USA Hockey’s Jack Johnson paying for his private plane to get him to the openings ceremonies so that he could walk with the rest of the USA athletes. Reading what he was willing to do to be a part of the Games, to experience that part of representing his country in the opening ceremonies, was reassuring that there are still some Olympians out there that care more about representing their country than themselves or just simply being there.