Friday, February 17, 2006

Canada Respects Opponents: Women's Hockey II

Canada came to these Olympic Games with their A game. Every time they have stepped on the ice, they took nothing for granted, they played against their opponents as if they were a threat, they focussed on their game, and they didn't disrespect their opponents by playing as if "oh yeah, we're the best, so we don't have to try." That's why they are in the Gold Medal game, and that's why I disagree vehemently with Don Cherry.

They remind me of playing scrabble with my grandmother when I was a small kid. My grandmother was a scrabble fiend; she gave no quarter to anyone, including her grandkids. Every time I sat at the scrabble table with her, I knew I was out of her league and would lose. And so when I won, much to her shock and disgust, I owned that win. I didn't win because she let me, or because she let her guard down. She respected me and the game enough to challenge me to get better and better with each game until I was able to beat her (and oh OK she was incredibly competitive too). I finally won because I was the better player that day. I remember where I was, how old I was, and how I won when I did. Of course it was a long while before I beat her again as she stepped up her game after that.

And so it is with the Canadian Women's Hockey team, superbly guided by the tournament's only female coach. Their opponents prepare for the challenge every time they play this team; with each game they improve mentally and technically; and the day they win, they will know -- know -- that they were the better team that day. Let's just hope it's not on Monday!

"Take care of yourself. Take care of one another." Team Canada slogan.

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2 comments:

Mr. Opinions said...

I couldn't agree more. The fact that the Americans lost to Sweden after taking it easy is a show of why you should always win and play hard. How do you turn it on when you need it if you just coast through. A line I read somewhere says it all " Would you ask Tiger Woods to miss a putt on purpose if he was up 10 strokes" I don't think so and that's why Canada wins gold.

talk talk talk said...

Good point about Woods. So why are they asking Canadian women to do that?