Ice Hockey In a Nutshell
Ice Hockey has enormous global appeal and is one of the founding sports of the Olympic Winter Games. Olympiad after Olympiad it delivers explosive, skilful contests.
At the Vancouver 2010 Games everything went to script for the Canadian hosts who defeated their American rivals in the men’s and women’s finals. The Russian teams are hoping for the same host form in 2014. Russian women have never medalled and the last time the Russian men made the podium was in 2002. The men have drawn the USA in their pool so expect fireworks early in the tournament. Sadly Australia failed to qualify.
The first Olympic Games to include Ice Hockey for men were the Antwerp Summer Games in 1920. Four years later it was part of the first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix and has remained on the program ever since.
Women’s Ice Hockey made its debut at the Winter Olympics at Nagano 1998. At these Games in another first for the sport, professional players from the National Hockey League of North America, played at the Olympics and have done so ever since. It is hoped that the world’s best players from all leagues will represent their country in February 2014.
Two venues have been built 300 metres apart at the Sochi Olympic Park in the Coastal Cluster to host Ice Hockey.