GANGNEUNG, South Korea – Wake up, America. There’s great news waiting for you. While you were sleeping, something magical happened in a hockey game at the Olympics. If you don’t have the time to watch the game on replay, at least watch the shootout. Look at the GIFs on social media. Do something. You just have to see this.
In one of the most satisfying moments in U.S. Olympic history, in one of the most spirited rivalries in all of sports, in the midst of a bitter 20-year gold-medal drought, the U.S. women’s hockey team defeated Canada 3-2 in a game that grew more enticing by the minute as it moved from regulation to overtime to a shootout that needed even more shots to settle things, with a U.S. goal for the ages, followed by a save to match.
It was fitting that the greatest game in U.S. women’s hockey history would take place on the 38th anniversary of the greatest game in U.S. men’s hockey history (and the best upset in any sport, ever), the 1980 Miracle on Ice victory over the Soviet Union in Lake Placid.
And it was the happy ending to an 11-month-long story that is as much about American culture as it is about sports. This is the team that boycotted its world championships last spring in an admirable and courageous pay equity battle with its national governing body. When USA Hockey’s leaders backed down, the women on this team came back in time for the worlds, which they won for the seventh time out of the last eight.
Think about it: Before the equal pay conversation began in Hollywood, or anywhere else around the country, this team had already fought its own battle, and won.