“The saying ‘patience is a virtue,’ stands true in sports. The quality of being patient is an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay. Patient athletes display composure, perseverance, and diligence in their performance. Self-control is an asset in sports because it makes you better, and it helps you make the right decisions at the right moments.” http://www.sportpsychologytoday.com/sport-psychology-for-coaches/patience-is-a-powerfull-mental-tool-in-sports/
This was certainly the case for TEAM USA Women’s Ice Hockey on Thursday in Gangneung in securing the Gold. After twenty years USA Women won the match against the Canadians who had dominated the ice after 1998.
Like the old ABC’s Wide World of Sports’ motto “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” of the game proved to be true. The excitement and joy of Team USA was contagious.
Unfortunately, Team Canada will always be remembered for those brief moments when one member removed her Silver Medal in the moment of the agony of defeat. An athlete is entitled to their emotional loss, but an athlete on a team of distinguished players like Team Canada cast a shadow on her fellow teammates which will be played and replayed by the media.
Sometimes there is a price to be paid for being too individualistic in a team sport. The whole team suffers a loss, and there is a time and place to show one’s disappointment and anguish over the defeat.
In our current age one’s actions on the field or ice are captured and given immortality by those who seemed inclined to replay and comment on an individual member of a team. ‘Tis sad, but it is the reality of our age.
From another perspective:
“It’s entirely natural that when you lose an important game—the important game—you’ll be disappointed. It’s not bad sportsmanship to feel that disappointment, nor to acknowledge it.
“Good sportsmanship involves playing as well as you can, focusing with your teammates on a common goal. When you fail to achieve that goal, it doesn’t feel good. Being a good sport isn’t about slapping a fake smile on your face and performing some unfelt celebration of your ultimate lack of success.
“You congratulate your opponent, absolutely, because they deserve it. You try to be graceful, and not let your own disappointment steal the moment from those who have earned success. You reflect—then or later—about the things you did well, the experiences you had, the things you and your teammates did together and achieved together.
“But you didn’t achieve your goal, and that hurts, especially in the moment. Letting the hurt show is just fine.”
I chose not to use her name because she has been punished enough for her actions, and I believe her apology was heart-felt. Who of us could have stood there with all that swirling emotion and bitter disappointment and not reacted a tad like her?
For twenty years Team USA walked away without the Gold. For each member that agony of defeat plagued them off the ice and when they returned home without being honored as golden heroines, even though each one was a heroine in her own way.
One cannot practice day in and day out for the Olympics without being viewed as heroic. Life takes on a whole different reality for you.
You participated in Games which only the chosen few out of the billions on this planet traversing the cosmos have achieved. There are no real losers at the Games.
Medals and standings are just statistics in the decades to come. What one does with their opportunities after the crowds have dispersed and the commentators have ceased their babble, is what really counts on the road of life.
For these women of 2018 it has been a difficult year as they fought for their rights. Fortunately, these gold medal winners will be remembered for this fight off the ice as well as on the ice in the decades to come.
For what they did will impact how women are treated in sports. The future can only be brighter when equality is nourished and applied to compensation and position be it in sports, business, politics, religion, etc.
G. D. Williams © 2018
2018 Team USA Women’s Ice Hockey Team
The U.S. Women’s Olympic Team has participated in every Winter Olympic Games since the first-ever women’s ice hockey tournament in 1998. USA took home Gold at that tournament in Nagano, Japan in a gold-medal game thriller over the Canadians. Since 1998, the U.S. has won three silver medals (2002, 2010, and 2014) and one bronze medal (2006).
The last 12 months have been a roller coaster ride for the United States women’s national hockey team, but on Thursday in Pyeongchang, that ride reached its ultimate peak — an Olympic gold medal.
Team USA defeated Canada, 3-2, in a thrilling shootout win in South Korea to earn their first gold medal in 20 years. It was the third consecutive Olympics in which the American and Canadian women faced off in the final, and this one came 38 years to the day of the “Miracle On Ice.”
For the American women, there was no miracle necessary. Thursday’s gold medal game was earned on the strength of skill, execution, perseverance, heart and fearlessness. It was a perfectly fitting way to wrap up what has been an incredible last year for the Team USA women, who have earned major victories both on and off the ice.
1998 Team USA Women’s Ice Hockey Team
The 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team had a powerful impact on the growth of girls’ and women’s hockey in the United States thanks to the success it enjoyed at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. The team twice defeated arch-rival Canada, including by a 3-1 count in the gold-medal game, en route to winning the first gold medal presented in women’s ice hockey at an Olympic Winter Games. Behind the guidance of Head Coach Ben Smith, Team USA finished the tournament undefeated (6-0-0) and outscored its opponents, 36-8. Cammi Granato, a 2008 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee, Karyn Bye, Katie Kingand Gretchen Ulion, co-led the U.S. with eight points each, while netminders Sarah Tueting and Sara DeCosta split time in goal, each winning three games.