The U.S. and Canada will face off in the IIHF women’s hockey world championships for the fifteenth time in fifteen tournaments. Yes, that’s all of them, prompting some to wonder if the sport might get tossed from future Olympic Games for a lack of competition from other nations.
One of those people was current IOC president Jacques Rogge, who said after the 2010 gold medal game in Vancouver (not surprisingly between the U.S. and Canada) that “we cannot continue without improvement.” But IIHF President Rene Fasel said he doesn’t think the sport is at risk:
“I don’t think there will be a problem there,” Fasel told reporters at the women’s world championship. “I cannot imagine that an IOC president would kick women’s hockey out of the program. I can’t imagine that. But you never know. They kicked wrestling out, so…”
The U.S. and Canada have also gone toe-to-toe at all but one Olympic gold medal final, which has obviously created an exciting rivalry for the bordering nations, but ruined the interest of countries like Switzerland, which lost by a combined 18-0 in their preliminary games against the two teams.
“Our goal is to be more competitive in [South] Korea in 2018,” Fasel added. “We need that time to go there.”