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FutureStarrFuture Stars Players in Olympics
The best players in the world will don their country's colors, but the next best best will have the stars and stripes on their backs. This is a list of players who tend to play on the American side of the pond, but who play a role in the success of the Olympics and are still considered on the cusp of playing for their country's team.
That’s not to say there hasn’t been some progress. In March 2017 the U.S. women’s national hockey team announced it wouldn’t be playing in the upcoming World Championships to protest the players’ lower pay and lesser benefits compared to the men’s team. (Especially considering that the women’s team tends to perform better than the men’s—it has won a medal at each Games since women’s hockey became an Olympic sport in 1998.) Nearly two weeks later, USA Hockey, the governing body of competitive ice hockey at Olympic and Paralympic levels, reached a historic pay deal with the women’s national team players. The deal established a living wage of about $71,000 per player—a huge jump from the $1,000 monthly stipend players were previously paid only in the six months leading up to an Olympics. The deal, which lasted four years, also outlined additional pay opportunities, such as performance bonuses, and granted the same per diem and benefits as the men’s team. Now that the four-year deal has expired, the team has agreed with USA Hockey on a one-year contract; the shorter length will make it easier to change course as necessary because of the pandemic. And while there are debates about how effective the deal ultimately was, it laid groundwork for Roque to be one of the first women’s hockey players to get a living wage while representing the U.S. as an Olympian.
The 15-year-old surprised at the trials when she earned the second spot in the 800 freestyle and came up just one place short in the 1500 as she immediately brought in comparisons to Ledecky. Grimes finished second in the prelims in the 800 freestyle behind only Ledecky and was a spot short of medaling when she came in fourth in the final, but her time of 8:19.38 was just a few off from what Ledecky swam back in 2012 in the Olympic finals (8:14.63) when she established that she was going to be a name to watch. Grimes will only be 18 for the 2024 Paris Olympics and has already shown she has what it takes to be a factor in these events. (Source: www.sportingnews.com)
On Tuesday, the Canadian men's hockey team was unveiled, a mix of young and old, NHL prospects and European veterans seeking Gold and an upgrade from the bronze won at the 2018 Olympic tournament. The Canadian women's team was announced on Jan. 11 and they'll look to build on their silver medal performance from 2018 and return to the top of the podium where they sat after the 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 Games.
Even as she heads into her fourth Olympic Games, Marie-Philip Poulin remains appointment viewing. It's a rarity to be able to watch a genuine legend in the sport do their thing on the Olympic stage (as we've learned from the men's side of the tournament). Don't take lightly the privilege of having another chance to watch Captain Clutch lead her squad into the Olympic spotlight. And after her performance at the 2021 world championships — nine points in six games and the historic golden goal to top it all off — expect another marquee performance. (Source: www.sportsnet.ca)