Cape Gazette
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Thoughts From the Sidelines

Make sure to watch Para-Olympics starting March 7

By Sumner Spence | Feb 27, 2014

The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia turned out to be a great success. I did my best to watch many of the events over the last two weeks from the opening to the closing ceremonies. They were a spectacular technological display and were pretty amazing to watch. I can't imagine how cool that was for the spectators! I hope Sports Illustrated has some good pieces on more of the inside stories and details of the experience of being there. I made sure to watch some of my favorite events like the ice hockey and the speed skating, along with the new free style skiing and snow boarding events and even some of the ice dancing. I was relieved that all of it came off without any major incidents other than the the news of hotels not being ready for the visitors. I can't decide if I am happy or not that Russia won the overall medal count.

As you know from last week's column, I was very excited about the progress that the U.S. men's hockey team was making in the round-robin portion of the tournament. But once they got to the medal round, I came away disappointed with their performance. The game against Canada was a close one. U.S. lost 1- 0. The U.S. team's performance in the bronze medal game against Finland was very lackluster, especially in the third period. They got crushed 5-0. I heard that the NHL is considering not letting the professional players in the next Olympics in South Korea. I think this would be a huge mistake because nobody would know who any of the hockey players are and I think it would garner an audience that is a lot less interested in watching. It will be interesting to see whether this happens. The debate of letting professionals be a part of the Olympics continues.

I am hoping that even though the main Winter Games are done, the interest in the Winter Para-Olympics will be bigger this year than ever before. I will be watching! Kudos to NBC and its affiliates for bringing these games to prime time.

Beyond the Olympics we are getting ripples of spring sports. Baseball is just beginning and there is little news other than changes in media booths and the back-and-forth debate about the best way to protect catchers from collision injuries at home plate. We will not be able to determine how the new rules will affect the game until the regular season has started, so I will turn to golf. Believe it or not, there are only six weeks until the Masters, which means Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods will be playing three out of the next four weeks. All these tournaments will be covered on the NBC stations.

Good Luck to Cape boys' basketball as the Vikings go into the second round on Friday the 28th at Woodbridge.

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