It’s an Olympic year, and while the Summer Olympics are what will reign supreme in 2012, we have decided to look ahead to the future of women’s hockey in the winter program.
There are a lot of defenders of the women’s hockey game, as well as a lot of those who vehemently believe there are a number of issues surrounding female hockey as a global sport.
The problem in part with both sides of this argument is that they are right. Certainly as the equal opportunity guy I am, I think women should be able to take part in every category of sport that men do, even ski jumping. That will be coming in 2014.
Many of the detractors aren’t against women in hockey because hockey is the only men’s sport in the world and women have no place on skates without toe picks. They argue that there is no competition. There is only one question to be asked about the women’s tournament: will the Americans beat the Canadians?
But the tournament isn’t about who wins the most medals and is crowned the most athletic country on the planet for the next four years. It’s about competition, but it’s also important as a vehicle for peace and global co-operation.
The Olympics aren’t about winning. I know it’s very PC to say that participation is all that’s important. There are others who say giving participation ribbons doesn’t teach anything, and they’re right, but it still isn’t all about winning.
Sport is really all about performing to one’s best. Everybody has limitations, and of course we are going to celebrate those athletes who appear to be the exception to that rule. Female hockey players should be given the opportunity to perform the sport they love for their countries. That’s really what is important here.
Personally, I don’t watch women’s hockey. I barely watch men’s hockey, and I find the female version to be a fair bit slower. This doesn’t mean I’m against the sport, and I’m definitely not against it being an Olympic sport.
For one, while women’s hockey may not be as fast-paced as men’s, it’s still entertaining and has a following of dedicated fans.
Second, isn’t hockey growing more popular among young women? It makes sense to assume that women’s hockey will only improve as time goes on and more five-year-old girls around the world start picking up sticks.
Finally, it’s already an Olympic sport and it’s way too late to get rid of it now. If there are women willing to play, countries that are able to put together teams and the facilities to host the tournament, it would be crazy to get rid of women’s hockey now. That would be a huge step back from equality. It would spur a lot of controversy. Women who aren’t even feminist would feel moved to support their female peers, whether or not they care about hockey. We are women and not men, so we band together when men do things against women. Also, no Olympic Games want to be remembered as the Games that got rid of women’s hockey and enraged the world. A million starving infants could be saved by that same decision-making committee, and they would still be the jerks who axed women’s hockey from the Olympics.
So women’s hockey should stay. They’re not hurting anybody, and any event that Canada is almost guaranteed to win is a good event in my books.