As much as I would have liked to see the U.S. men’s hockey team win Olympic gold in Vancouver today, I was happy to see Patrice Bergeron receive his gold medal as a member of Team Canada a little more than a year after a hit left him lifeless on the ice before stunned fans at a game between the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes in December, 2008.
Hockey is a rough and sometimes brutal sport, so you don’t reach the Olympic level without taking your share of bumps and bruises. After lying motionless after that 2008 hit, Bergeron left the game with help of several of his teammates; today, just over a year later, Bergeron skated off another sheet of ice triumphant and golden, metaphorically buoyed by a team of his countrymen.
I would have loved to have seen Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and other members of Team U.S.A. win gold in today’s game, but it was quiet consolation to know how hard all members of both teams have worked to get their chance at gold. Every athlete knows you win some and you lose some, and hockey players in particular know any game can leave you face-flat on the ice. Second-place silver isn’t as precious as champion gold, but any day that ends with a medal is still pretty sweet.