Tomorrow will see the Olympic women’s hockey gold medal settled between Canada and the United States for the fourth time in five tournaments. And the gap between those two squads and the rest of the world is a noticeable one.
In recent years, there’s been talk of the sport needing to improve the depth of competition if it is to continue on into the future as part of the Olympics.
But if the leader of the International Ice Hockey Federation has anything to do with it, we won’t need to worry about a potential drop for women’s hockey from the Olympic program.
“I can guarantee that will never happen,” IIHF president Rene Fasel has said according to the Associated Press.
Additionally, the IOC has said that it’s been pleased with the women’s hockey action so far in Sochi.
Nonetheless, the sport could definitely use other powerhouses outside of North America.
Following the Americans’ 6-1 semifinal win over Sweden, U.S. star Julie Chu talked of her hope to eventually see an Olympic women’s hockey field where everyone stands a puncher’s chance.
Suffering a few more upsets beats the alternative from Chu’s perspective.
“The reality is if women’s hockey ever got pulled out of the Olympics, the trickle effect is going to be huge,” she said to Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post on Monday.
“Not just on the Olympic level, not just on the international level, but we’re going to feel it at our NCAA level in the States, and we’re going to feel it in the growth of our girls.”