“With every set back there’s a chance to come back.”
The 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, Russia are now over.
Most importantly the gold medal match between USA and Russia was televised on NBC.
I am given to understand that NBC used during the Olympic Games the duet “Incredible” by Céline Dion and Ne-Yo. Hell, if you want inspirational and incredible… they SHOULD have used it for the Paralympics.
However there was a lot involved and a lot on the line today as both gold and bronze medal matches went down.
The semi-finals found USA against No. 1 seed Canada. And host nation Russia took on Norway.
Team USA had previously lost to host team Russia and they had to take on their arch rivals Canada for the semi-finals.
After the unusual and humiliating loss to Russia in the preliminaries, USA woke up and took their frustrations out on Canada winning the match 3-0.
And so it was that Canada would play Norway for the bronze medal match. USA would again face Russia for gold.
Let me explain why I said that a lot was on the line.
- Team USA took the gold in 2010 in Vancouver with a win over Japan. The team actually went 5-0 and shut out everyone they played outscoring them 19-0. USA was playing both to defend their gold medal and to become the first team ever in the Paralympics to win back to back gold medals in sledge hockey.
- Canada in 2010 on their home ice walked away with nothing, winning 4th place.
- Norway had earned a medal in every Paralympics sledge hockey tournament since the sport was introduced and inducted into the Paralympics back in 1994. It didn’t matter what color the medal was. They had won a medal in every tournament.
- Canada had something to prove. They wanted their pride back after getting spanked by USA and being shutout. Norway’s medal streak was on the line.
- Norway however (and unfortunately in my opinion) lost their streak as Canada won the match and earned the bronze medal for 2014. History was changed.
- Not only was USA playing for back to back medals, but also taking into consideration that if they would win in Sochi, they would have the record of winning gold in the Paralympics three out of the last four times.
Team USA’s Josh Sweeney (Texas) in the second period of the Gold Medal match was the one and only player that scored during the entire game. And that was enough for USA to become victorious.
Watching the … what was called.. the Victory Ceremonies where they handed out the gold, silver, and bronze medals to USA, RUSSIA, and CANADA.. it was an amazing sight to behold.
Although I could not help but notice the depressing frowns on the faces of the Canadian team members. I didn’t get that at all.
Russia was right there with their silver medals and in front of their home crowd. It was like THEY won the gold… considering that the one fact that Russia did not have a national team 3-4 years ago, then they end up hosting the Games, and then make it to the Gold Medal match their first time playing in the Paralympics? Holy crap on a cracker!!
Yeah… “incredible” indeed. Again, THIS is where that song needs to be played.
I’m actually proud of Team USA. I am also really proud that I know a lot of these players on the team, and I have met in person many more. These are your people who are incredible.
These are the ones that should make you think twice if you think your life sucks from time to time and that things aren’t going the way you want them. Inspiration overload.