The Olympic Athletes from Russia claimed a gold medal in the men’s hockey tournament, defeating the squad from Germany in a 4-3 overtime thriller. The athletes, who made it very clear they were from Russia by defying the Olympic ban and singing the Russian anthem, wasted little time after their win explaining the magnitude of their achievement.
In fact, former NHL player Pavel Datsyuk described the gold medal win in a way that may rile up some hockey fans.
Datsyuk said that the gold medal was the greatest accomplishment of his career, evidently surpassing two Stanley Cup victories with the Detroit Red Wings.
Datsyuk’s comments, via the Associated Press:
“When you play for your country and I win this medal, this special time, it’s more important. I have accomplished my dream. Now I have no dream.
There are a lot of nice feelings now in my heart, but at the same time I can’t believe it yet.”
Based on the comments from NHL players who were unable to participate in the Olympic tournament, it’s safe to say that Datsyuk’s comments about a gold medal trumping the Stanley Cup may be shared by a large percentage of NHL skaters. That’s why the league passing on the tournament was such a big story, and why you can bet players will hold a grudge heading into the negotiations for the next collective bargaining agreement.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an interview with Datsyuk without a memorable quote. His “I accomplished my dream, now I have no dream,” statement is about as Datsyuk as it gets. It almost sounds really, really depressing.
Still, one has to wonder if any of the Russian athletes (sorry – Olympic Athletes from Russia) feel like their accomplishment will always carry an asterisk due to the lack of NHL talent. Is a win over amateur talent really the greatest of achievements?