Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick’s favorite hockey call? An Olympic moment comes to mind.

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It’s difficult for Mike “Doc” Emrick to pick out a favorite call from his hockey broadcasting career of more than 3,750 games in 47 professional seasons, but the first one that came to mind when asked Monday afternoon was from the Olympics.

Emrick remembered his signoff from the 2014 Sochi Winter Games men’s preliminary-round contest the U.S. and Russia, which memorably went to five sudden-death shootout rounds with T.J. Oshie potting the game-winner.

Emrick noted that, 34 years earlier, the U.S. played an even more memorable Olympic game against the Soviet Union — the Miracle on Ice in Lake Placid. After the Sochi game, Emrick asked the producer to get a shot of the crowd leaving the arena.

As the broadcast showed fans leaving the exits, Emrick uttered this line that he repeated Monday.

So many paid their rubles to see the home team win. Not this game. Not tonight.

Emrick borrowed those last five words from 1980 U.S. Olympic coach Herb Brooks, who used them in his pregame speech made famous in the 2004 film “Miracle.”

What made it more special was an interaction that Emrick had with Oshie after returning to the U.S. Emrick asked if it was the most significant thing that happened in Oshie’s life.

No, Oshie said, noting the birth of his first child shortly after he returned from the Games.

“That was awesome,” Emrick said Monday, after announcing his retirement from play-by-play at age 74. “A springboard to another story that I think is far more significant.”

Oshie’s daughter Lyla was born three weeks after the Olympics and needed surgery for a birth defect involving her stomach. Lyla is now 6 years old.

In his Olympic career, Emrick called four of the most five famous gold-medal games of the last 40 years — the Sweden-Canada shootout at Lillehammer 1994, the first women’s final between the U.S. and Canada at Nagano 1998, Sidney Crosby‘s golden goal at Vancouver 2010 and the U.S.-Canada women’s overtime game at Sochi 2014.

Emrick, who also covered water polo at the Summer Olympics, said covering the 1998 U.S. team created his favorite Olympic women’s hockey memories.

“They had never had a major win over Canada — and this time — it was two in a week,” Emrick wrote in an email, noting a come-from-behind win in preliminary play three days before the final. “It was a team coached by Ben Smith, who, when they were presented the Lester Patrick [Trophy the next year] in Boston, said what a lot of coaches have said, ‘The secret to good coaching was to get off the bus with the best players.'”

Emrick, in speaking with reporters for more than an hour, also mentioned a story from working with 1980 U.S. Olympic captain Mike Eruzione in the mid-1980s.

Emrick asked Eruzione what would have happened if he hit the crossbar against the Soviets, rather than scoring the game-winning goal, and the U.S. didn’t win.

“I’m probably painting bridges in Boston with my father,” Eruzione told him.

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Mo Farah likely to retire this year

Mo Farah
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British track legend Mo Farah will likely retire by the end of this year.

“I’m not going to go to the Olympics, and I think 2023 will probably be my last year,” the 39-year-old Farah said, according to multiple British media reports.

Farah, who swept the 5000m and 10,000m golds at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, was announced Tuesday as part of the field for the London Marathon on April 23.

Last May, Farah reportedly said he believed his career on the track was over, but not the roads.

London might not be his last marathon. Farah also said that if, toward the end of this year, he was capable of being picked to run for Britain again, he would “never turn that down,” according to Tuesday’s reports.

It’s not clear if Farah was referencing the world track and field championships, which include a marathon and are in Budapest in August. Or selection for the 2024 British Olympic marathon team.

The fastest British male marathoner last year ran 2:10:46, ranking outside the top 300 in the world. Farah broke 2:10 in all five marathons that he’s finished, but he hasn’t run one since October 2019 (aside from pacing the 2020 London Marathon).

Farah withdrew four days before the last London Marathon on Oct. 2, citing a right hip injury.

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah’s best London Marathon finish in four starts was third place in 2018.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

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Kendall Gretsch wins six gold medals at Para Nordic Ski Worlds

Kendall Gretsch
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Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.

Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.

She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.

Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.

Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.

Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.

The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.

Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.

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