Let’s face it; the Winter Olympics are downright weird. It is baffling to think that in 2014, humans are still sliding stones across a sheet of ice for entertainment. Why not give my grandparents a shot at a shuffleboard gold medal in the next summer Olympics? I’ll stop. After all, curlers are just as much of Olympians as the rest of them. Plus, the rest of the world would have no chance beating the goldmine of 60 plus year-old shuffleboard talents that is stockpiled here in the states.
In the heap of this Olympic weirdness, however, there lies a gem in Olympic hockey. For the good ole USA, it is safe to say Olympic hockey is back. If you took one lap through Brick Street last Saturday morning at 8 a.m., you would have found it hard to argue with me. Will the epic battle between USA and Russia be labeled as the best sports moment in Oxford in 2014? Sarcasm aside, is there anything else that will even come close?
Olympic hockey is the purest form of sport in my opinion. Hockey in general is a game of skill and toughness more so than any other; a continuous grind for 45 minutes that leaves no room for the weak. In this case, no cash incentive is on the line. A break from the “day job” of professional hockey, these players suite up and play like no tomorrow for entertainment of the world. For the fans, this is as good as it gets.
There is something about the uniforms too. Red, white and blue will never get old, and seeing the opposition across the ice draped in all red certainly will not either.
If 1980 was the “Miracle on Ice,” 2014 should go down as “Karma on Ice.” I understand this was not nearly the upset of 1980, but the context surrounding this game cannot be belittled. LGBT rights in Russia’s eyes and in ours are worlds apart. Government thinking on LGBT rights in both countries is heading in opposite directions. This game is where they collide.
Again, USA played the role of the underdog. Again, this game was much more than a hockey game. And again, the USA found a way to come out victorious. USA vs. Russia is a Hollywood movie script. The director? T.J. Oshie.
With Russia’s elimination to Finland, no rematch will be had until 2018. Hopefully then it will be nothing more than a hockey game. But in 2014, it was Karma on Ice.