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Going on right now at the Canada Hockey Place is the eagerly-anticipated women's gold medal game between Canada and the United States. And right now the Canadian women are leading 2-0 in the third period with two goals from that stunningly talented youngster Marie-Philippe Poulin. Penalties against the Americans are another part of the story. More so for Canada than the US.

Finland took the bronze for the first time in women's Olympic hockey as they took out Sweden in a thrilling OT bronze medal game in front of Finland's President Tarja Halonen (a Conan O'Brien look-a-like) hours ago.

For women's ice hockey to really succeed, it needs other nations' ice hockey governing bodies to develop greater depth and maybe offer financial stipends to compliment whenever they play for their clubs for national team depth and chemistry. But that's easier said than done. Many can't even afford it. One way to get around this is some organizing exhibition games with the top four powers or send their best young players to the likes of Minnesota-Duluth or in the NWHL. Right now, Rogge is starting to threaten women's hockey to show more parity in the Olympics or else exit like softball. That won't be good on gender equity grounds, something the IOC has been committed to doing, ski jumping controversy notwithstanding. Remember the Italians, Kazaks, and Swiss women? Germany didn't qualify this time around. All fans of women's hockey and the players can wish and plead for is more patience for the sport to develop further worldwide.


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International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge warned women's ice hockey officials on Thursday to improve the parity in competition or risk having the sport dropped from the Games.

Hours before the gold medal final between the United States and Canada, dominant powers in a tournament where they routed outmatched rivals, Rogge said the Olympics can bear the lopsidedness for only so long.

"There is a discrepancy. Everyone agrees with that," Rogge said. "This may be the investment period for women's ice hockey. I would personally give them more time to grow but there must be a period of improvement.

"We cannot continue without improvement."

U.S. and Canadian women have played in every world championship and Olympic final with the exception of the 2006 Turin Games, when Sweden upset the Americans in a semi-final.

Canadian and U.S. "girls are on another planet," said Rene Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

U.S. forward Monique Lamoureux compares the level of play by the two top teams to the superiority Canada and the Soviet Union enjoyed in men's hockey a generation ago.

"If you look back 30 to 40 years ago, Canada and Russia were blowing men's hockey out of the water, but other countries came around," she said. "It's just going to take time and hopefully people will be patient. (snip)"

Fair comment Jacques...in the rush to establish some kind of gender balance at the OWGs women's ice hockey seems more like a Canuck/US benefit. And how does it make women softballers feel when their sport was given the arse after 2008, when a similar set of circumstances were pertinent to the decision.?

Oh that's right...the OWGs need all the sports they can get to validate their huge expense :P

Thanks Jacques :)

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I don't think the argument holds when you look at a sport like table tennis. 20 of 24 gold medals for one country, including a decrease in competitive competition.

Hmm...table tennis...how does that survive with such dominance from the Chinese.

Wait a sec...

How much is China's successful participation at the Olympics worth to the IOC? :o:P

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