February 17, 2006
Team USA captain Krissy Wendell talks
to NBC commentators Ray Ferraro and Bill Clement
Figure skating is one of the
popular spectator sports in America – its fan base is huge, its
audience is enormous. And it is one of the rare sports in which
outshine the men, taking center stage on the ice.
However, figure skating is not the only place where American women
on the ice in Torino. On the speed skating oval, there are women
like Chris Witty and Jennifer Rodriguez. In curling,
sisters Cassie and Jamie Johnson lead one of the
in the Olympic competition. And in the hockey arena, American
join forces to square off against the world as a team.
For some, the idea of women’s hockey is still relatively novel.
its history belies that notion, dating back over a century. In
for example, women’s teams faced off in Ontario, and in 1916, Ohio held
first international (or at least North American) competition with teams
Canada and the U.S. In the 1920s, women hit the ice in collegiate
both in Canada and the U.S., for the first time.
When I was in high school in Massachusetts, there wasn’t a girl’s
team, but our rival, PHS, had a girl who played with the boys. My
Mark was a captain of our team, and I remember when he first played
her. After the game, he sat at the after-party on a couch, his
in his hands: “I body-checked a girl,” he kept saying. “I
checked a girl.” But with women’s hockey increasingly becoming
norm – especially in Massachusetts and Minnesota (where the first
high school team debuted in 1995) –his angst likely would not occur
The International Olympic Committee welcomed women’s hockey onto the
program in 1992, and it made its Olympic debut in Nagano in 1998:
U.S. defeated Canada to win the first gold medal. It was a
perfect inauguration (especially for the Americans) as the U.S. and
had a long rivalry – one that started almost a century ago – in the
That rivalry continues today, similar to the one on the men’s side of
ice. At every World Championship and each Winter Games, the U.S.
Canada have faced off for gold, with Canada winning nine times, making
Nagano victory a bit of an upset. In Salt Lake, Canada – who
beaten the American squad in their previous eight encounters – took
3-2, in a devastating loss for the Americans.
Here in Torino, things look like they are going to be familiar, at
with only Sweden and Finland likely threatening the hold of the North
in the hockey arena. But come February 20th, when the gold medal
up for grabs, likely the two old rivals will once again meet on the
And hopefully team captain Krissy Wendell, who led the
of Minnesota to its second consecutive NCAA title, will lead the way to
H A V E
Q U E S T I O N F O R D R . B A S S
D U R I N G T H E W I N T E R G A M E S ?
L I C K H E R E
will be posting the questions and answers
the CNR At The Winter Games website!
m o r e
Be sure to check back often for Dr.
Amy Bass's updates to her
Online CNR Winter Olympic Games Diary.
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