Home > Uncategorized > Why Olympic Women’s Hockey Should Go . . . I Mean, Stay

Why Olympic Women’s Hockey Should Go . . . I Mean, Stay

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The Associated Press
Canada’s Meghan Agosta-Marciano celebrates her second goal against the United States during a 2014 Winter Olympics women’s ice hockey game at Shayba Arena on Wednesday in Sochi, Russia. Canada prevailed 3-2 in the entertaining round-robin contest, with a rematch likely looming in the gold-medal game on Feb. 20.

Who knew we’d have such high quality hockey at Sochi — before the men’s games started?

Today’s matchup — most likely a preview of the gold-medal game  — between the Canadian and American women’s teams was a high-paced, competitive, entertaining game.

Jenna Wood worked

Jenna Wood

Unfortunately, many more of the women’s games at these Olympics won’t be.

That’s why — just three days ago — I would have told you that I was OK with the possibility of women’s hockey being removed from the Olympics. It’s a two-nation sport right now, with Canada and the U.S. head and shoulders above the rest. This is not the level of rivalry that serves the competitive spirit of the Games.

But then, I watched the Canadian women take on Finland. You know what? That was a darn good hockey game.

No, it doesn’t compare to the calibre of play put forth by the men’s hockey teams. I won’t even try to argue that. But if you sit back for a minute, think about what women’s hockey should be — and just enjoy the sport for what it is — that was a great hockey game. And it was even better because the team wearing red was given a run for its money by the team wearing light blue — instead of red, white and blue.

Now is not the time to remove women’s hockey from the Olympics. Finally, other countries are starting to be able to compete with Canada and the U.S. That is because it is an Olympic sport. This gives little girls around the world something to look up to — something to strive for.

Little boys will always have those examples at the professional level. The NHL, KHL and many different leagues of elite hockey are what little boys’ dreams are made of.

How many of you played on that frozen pond when you were little, raising the Stanley Cup above your head at the end of the day? Little girls don’t get to raise that Cup, but with women’s hockey in the Olympics, they can dream about that gold medal being placed around their neck, hearing their national anthem and celebrating with their team.

We are finally to the stage where little girls have hockey heroes they can look up to from the time they are just learning to skate — in countries across the world.

It will take a few more Olympics before the competition reaches the parity you see in men’s hockey — and that’s exactly why we need to keep women’s hockey in the Olympics.

Jenna Wood is a former sports broadcaster, spending time on radio and television in Calgary, Saskatoon, Fort McMurray and Peace River. She is now a mother of two, a land agent and still a lover of all things sports. Bringing a unique perspective of the crossover between family life and professional sports, Jenna hopes to share with readers how sports combines with real life to inspire people on a daily basis.

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