It’s pretty rare that I write about the same topic for two blog posts in a row, but somewhere around 2:05 a.m. Thursday morning, Eastern Time, as I paced around my living room screaming into a pillow so as not to wake my sleeping family, I knew that I simply must.
There are sports moments you’ll never forget, and there are Olympic sports moments you’ll never forget, and then there’ll be the moment a young woman named Jocelyne Lamoureaux-Davidson scored a shootout goal I’ll never forget, and then a 20-year-old kid goalie named Maddie Rooney made the save of her life.
What a game. What. A. Game! I told you on Wednesday this would be a classic, and it was. Now, let’s leave aside for a minute the fact that after three intense periods of play, and then 20 minutes of scintillating overtime, a gold medal was decided by shootout, which absolutely, positively is a terrible way to decide an Olympic gold medal.
But those are the rules, so here we are. And this USA Women’s hockey team is worthy of your admiration for many reasons. For one, a year ago they demanded pay equal to that of the men’s team, and threatened to sit out the upcoming World Championships unless USA Hockey agreed to give them equal treatment to the men’s team. That meant equal pay, equal equipment, per diems, staff, etc.
After more than a year of fighting, the women won equality.
Then there’s the team itself: A gritty group of players who have suffered three straight silver medal “wins” at the Olympics, and had lost to Canada in the gold medal game the last two tries. This team deserved, and earned, some good fortune that came their way.
It really was sensational. Here’s a sensational column by Yahoo!’s Dan Wetzel on the victory, and also, below, of the women’s team after getting their medals, listening to the national anthem and watching all their hard work pay off. And oh yeah, Thursday was the 38th anniversary of the 1980 Olympics “Miracle on Ice.” Maybe you’ve heard of it.
I got chills. Maybe you will, too. Sports, man. Sports.
**Next up, a good news story of a slightly different sort. Progress and acceptance aren’t always spelled out blatantly, in gold medals, and historic firsts. Sometimes, they’re more subtle, when something that used to have been a big deal, no longer is.
That’s what I thought about when I read this story on Upworthy.com, about the major department store Macy’s becoming the first in its industry to sell hijabs in its stores.
From the story: “Starting Feb. 15, the retail giant will feature an assortment of hijabs, cardigans, abayas, and dresses from the Verona Collection on Macys.com.
Lisa Vogl, founder of the Verona Collection, is a graduate of The Workshop, Macy’s business development program for minority and/or women entrepreneurs. After her conversion to Islam in 2011, the single mother quickly realized how rare it is to find affordable, trendy modest clothing — and that “many other women, both Muslim and non-Muslim, felt the same way” — so she decided to launch her own fashion line.
Such a little thing. Such a big thing. Tolerance, and acceptance, and with so many other things Macy’s sells, hopefully this will just become part of the fabric of the store, and it won’t be a big deal after a while.
**Finally today, two athletic feats, one in actual sports competition, one not, that made me smile this week.
First, above, a pretty amazing tennis shot from SMU’s Tiffany Hollebeck, in a match last week. How in the world did she do that?
**And then, this, I don’t know what you call it, escalator rail-riding? From an unidentified Swiss Olympic competitor at an airport in South Korea.
Seriously, how great is this? And how did he even do that? Have a great weekend.