Of Miracles and Women

Pyeongchang, South Korea- In an amazing performance of patriotism and athleticism, the USA Women’s Olympic Hockey Team won Gold last night. The win came after a hard-fought game that fell into a penalty goal shootout. And as the world watched anxiously to see which team would reign victorious, the warriors of American hockey and Canadian hockey battled.

Through the regulation and through five rounds of overtime, mercilessly the players fought on. In what will now certainly be called the “Penalty Shot Heard Round the World,” Jocelyne Lamoureux was able to fake out the poutine-eating goaltender. This put the US team up 3-2. For any readers that lack hockey knowledge, her penalty shot could only best be compared to a pump-fake buzzer-beating 3 pointer, or a Dan Marino fake-spike touchdown pass.

It was a moment of exhilarating eruption followed by sobering silence. The hosers from up North now had their last opportunity to score a penalty goal. Americans from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon chewed their finger nails. Americans from Disneyland to Disneyworld sipped their respective local craft brews. Americans on vacation or in incarceration all remained hushed. A collective prayer led by the ghosts of Teddy Roosevelt, JFK, and George Washington was prayed. And on that cold, Korean ice rink; there stood Maddie Rooney, our goaltender. The opposing Canadian skater began her Mountie-charge towards Rooney. Unwavering, Rooney prepped herself. As the Northern aggressor from Nova Scotia came full speed ahead, the woman wrapped in metaphorical stars and stripes waited patiently.

The puck was shot.

The puck was up.


And in that moment, 20 years since USA Women’s last Gold in hockey and 38 years since the Miracle on Ice, Lady Liberty wept tears of victory. The team stormed the arena floor and dog-piled each other as only winners can. In a world of uncertainty, America overcame as we always do. Gigi Marvin, who was the first shooter of overtime, said it best: “We were able to push everything away. Up 1-0, then give up two goals, tie it, then we’re in the shootout. How many times do you have there to mentally cave? We didn’t.” Wow, that just says it all. “We didn’t”… and we never have.

Congratulations Gold medalists, better luck next time maple-leaf people, and God bless the United States.