Men’s ice hockey at the Vancouver Olympics is expected by fans to be one of the most exciting competitions. The 12-day final round brings together the 12 strongest teams in the world with the same goal – that is the determination to win the Olympic title. VOA correspondent Steve Schy reports that the US team aims to regain the gold medal they won in 1980.
Men’s ice hockey became an official Olympic game in 1992, but on the 1998 Olympics, the US Hockey League, called NHL, allowed players to leave the league. Group to return to play for the national team. David Ogrean that’s director of the US-USA Hockey team, appreciated the acceptance of the postponement of the season to allow the world’s top players to compete in the 21st Winter Olympics.
So at the three Olympic Games, no national team has reached the final twice. The 12 teams to the Vancouver Olympics in May are divided into three groups: Table A consists of Canada, America, Switzerland, and Norway; Group B includes Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Latvia; and Table C includes Sweden, Finland, Belarus, and Germany.
Dave Poile, an official of the US sports team, said only five players in the team had ever experienced Olympic competitions. He recalls glory when the US team won the gold medal at Lake Placid in New York in 1980.
He said that when the US team was considered to be under power, he suddenly lowered the gold medal candidate to Russia in the semi-final, before defeating Finland to win the enemy title. Mr. Poile hopes to celebrate this 30th year of victory that will create excitement for the youth team today.
Toronto Maple Leafs club Ron Wilson coaches as head coach of the US men’s Olympic hockey team in 2010. Youngster Patrick Kane, 21, one of the first six players in the team, was named into the squad, saying it was a great honor to represent the country in Olympic competition.