This week, Toronto, Canada will host the World Hockey Summit...an event attended by all the big whigs in the hockey world to discuss the current state of the game and try to solve issues and problems facing the sport today. One of the hottest topics that will be debated in the summit is whether girls hockey should have the opportunity to continue participating in the Olympics (next held in 2014). This discussion will be held on Thursday and is expected to be the dominating and most controversial issue facing the Summit this year. The topic is brought on by the International Olympic Committee, who is apparently growing frustrated with sports participation in the games.
Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson has gone on record to the Canadian Press stating that "there is a danger that women's hockey could be removed from the Olympics because of the way Canada and the U.S. have dominated the international stage." To date, the United States and Canada are the only two countries to win the gold since women's hockey officially became an Olympic sport in 1998. The two countries also have won the world championship title every year for the last 20 years, indicating that the lack of international competition makes the women's sport unworthy of Olympic participation. It will take some major convincing, which is very possible, for women's hockey to stay an Olympic sport. NHL reporter Bruce Ciskie says that, "for the sport to survive as an Olympic entity, there must at least be a commitment to growth in the near future. The IOC isn't looking for a magical fix as much as they seek ideas as to how this can be rectified so the sport is more entertaining and attractive, and more worthy of being kept as an Olympic (globally competitive) sport." To our hockey lovers out there, what do you think about women's teams being eliminated from the Olympic games? This has potential to be a major blow to the women's hockey world here in North America, and who knows what the repercussions could be if the sport is eliminated. Leave a comment with your thoughts!