Tag Archives: Olympics

American hockey legend #GloucesterMA Ben Smith inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame

Ben Smith US Hockey Hall of Fame

From the United States Hockey Hall of Fame printed matter, hockey player and stellar hockey coach, Ben Smith:

Ben Smith (Gloucester, Mass.) served as head coach of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team in 1998, 2002 and 2006, leading Team USA to the first-ever gold medal in women’s hockey at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. It was the crowning achievement in a storied coaching career. 

Described by his players as a direct and passionate perfectionist, Smith compiled a 37-7 record in IIHF Women’s World Championship and Olympic competition during his tenure at the helm from 1996 to 2006, a span that included two gold medals, six silver medals and one bronze medal. And while Smith’s high-profile exploits as a women’s hockey coach gained him enshrinement into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2016, his hall-of-fame résumé extends far beyond a single brilliant decade. 

The son of a U.S. Senator*, Smith was a standout hockey player at Harvard University in the late 1960s. After graduation, he served as an assistant men’s hockey coach at the University of Massachusetts Amherst while also coaching high school hockey in Gloucester. He eventually became a men’s hockey assistant coach at Yale University, where he served for five seasons before joining Jack Parker’s coaching staff at Boston University. During his nine seasons at BU, the Terriers made three NCAA Tournament appearances and won four Beanpot Tournament championships. 

Smith’s first taste of international competition came in 1985 when he was named an assistant coach for the U.S. National Junior Team. He served in a similar capacity in 1986 and 1987 and was also an assistant coach for the 1987 U.S. Men’s National Team. In 1988, Smith was appointed as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. He soon earned his first head coaching appointment, taking the helm at Dartmouth College in 1990 and then moving to the same role at Northeastern University, where he led the Huskies to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1994.

Smith remains active with USA Hockey serving in a player evaluation role for many international teams, including the gold medal-winning 2017 U.S. National Junior Team.”

 

*I’ve run into articles and archival material about both Ben Smith II and III. On GMG, Nicole posted beautiful and direct experiences about Ben Smith like this one: https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/olympic-dreams/

Janice Shea wrote me after a GMG post about Gloucester atheletes and Harvard (and Olympic!) connections*Ben Smith Senior, of Annisquam, was President John F Kennedy’s roommate at Harvard. He became Massachusetts Senator when JFK became president. Here’s a link to the Ben Smith II obit  http://www.nytimes.com/1991/09/28/obituaries/benjamin-smith-75-us-senator-in-1960-s.html  and wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_A._Smith_II.  And here for Ben Smith III (junior) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Smith_(ice_hockey_coach)   plus an interesting read about his coaching http://old.post-gazette.com/olympics/20020218olyhockfill0218p8.asp 

Gloucester Daily Times article about Hall of Fame induction

Trio in Rio and other Olympic stories to watch and remember

Olympics open tonight

With Rio’s challenging current events and Olympic travails, I thought Mashable did a good job on this Olympics round-up:

Mashable Olympic highlights

 

Sailing fans

There’s at least one person from Gloucester in Rio for the Olympics in an official capacity. I know this because I read Nick Curcuru’s interesting article from today’s Gloucester Daily Times: Ben Richardson Heading to Rio as US Sailing Olympic Committee Chairman 

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Remember to toast James Brendan Connolly

I wrote about the very first Olympic winner in 1500 years having a Massachusetts and Gloucester connection, author James Brendan Connolly. Connolly won two gold medals in the Athens Olympics in 1896: Before he was a Harvard spurner, a Veteran, a Gloucester Master Mariner, a sea tales chronicler and beloved writer,  James Connolly was one of 14 American athletes to compete in the international Games of the I Olympiad in Athens, Greece, 1896. 

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I wonder about other Olympic athletes with Gloucester ties.

Will you watch any Rio events? cue GMG poll

Yellow Water Nasty Rooms- Welcome to Sochi!

If this doesn’t highlight in boldface italicized underlined font that Big Time Sporting Events Belong In Big Time Cities I Don’t Know What Does.  Who is on the Olympics Committee?  Fire the whole lot of them.  Like yesterday.  They shouldn’t be making decisions any more.  Who the hell wants to go to this dumpy ass third world city to celebrate the biggest sporting event on the planet- The Olympics?  This is where you hole up the most elite athletes in the world?  Hotels with brown water?  Mickey Mouse sheets?  WTF is going on over there??????  Imagine you train your whole life for the winter Olympics dreaming of St Moriz Switzerland, Vancouver, Turin, Oslo, and then you get off the plane in Sochi, check into your room, turn on the water and its urine colored and the beds are better at the Pine Street Inn.

Lets see I’m on the Olympics Hosting City Selection Committee and I’m gonna pick a world class city to host the 2014 Olympics.  You don’t suppose that all that Russian oil money doesn’t come into play?  Has to, right?  I mean how else in the world do you justify picking this kind of third world hotel hosting city over a real big time developed country.  (and I understand that these aren’t really third world country conditions, but compared to US hotel Standards and real International City Standards they are)

This goes for the Superbowl too.  (and I’m aware that there’s talk of a Superbowl coming to Foxboro)  Let me just state for the record- Probably no one deserves more respect in the NFL than Bob Kraft.  Classy, took a team from despair and turned them into Champions, humble, the whole works.  They did a great job with Patriots Place, the mall , the dining options, the hotels, ect, ect.  But lets not get crazy here.  Foxboro is a blip of a town with such little to do.  It’s  SOOOO far removed from a real City that the poor people that would come up here to watch and cover the Superbowl  would be scattered all over the place and there would no way to cohesively host them.  Not like they can in New Orleans, San Fran, Miami or Dallas.

Put me in the camp that says that these events should only be held in Cities with tons of awesome hotels and restaurants and fun things to do.  Foxboro?  Really???  

Hmmm, lets see where would I rather spend  a 4 day weekend to celebrate the Superbowl in February? 

Miami, nah, too warm and sunny and too many awesome restaurants and sights to see. 

New Orleans?  No way.  Place is wayyyy too fun and centrally located and set up for a huge event like the Superbowl.

Oh, I got it!  Foxboro!!!!  That thriving metropolis where we can have people have to drive to get to and stay in other cities like Providence or Boston, no where near the stadium and for there be no way to cohesively party with all the other fans rooting for your team.

Yeah, that’s the ticket, Foxboro.

 

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Do You Care About The Olympics?

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You know the last time I gave a shit about the Olympics?

USA v Russia 1980.

I was laid up in bed with a broken leg that I suffered when I fell off the t-bar on my way up the bunny slope to my first ever skiing lesson, my first time ever on skis.

That Olympics was great and I would argue the pinnacle of American pride that I can remember during my lifetime.

But now I don’t know a single person that cares a bit about the Olympics. No one.  Well no-one except the athletes themselves and family members I suppose.

The amount of money poured into advertising for the Olympic games and the stadiums built are staggering.   I don’t know if it’s worthwhile for these companies or not to spend this much dough on advertising.  You would think their marketing teams would know what they are doing at these huge companies but then again think about all the companies that overpay for naming rights to stadiums when they are flush with cash and we only find out a couple years later they go bankrupt.  I suppose blowing tons of money on stupid campaigns doesn’t help the bottom line but whatever, it’s not my dough.

As a devout and completely biased homer for all teams that represent our geographic region and USA in the Olympics this isn’t a slight to the athletes, I wish them the best.  I just don’t know when the whole allure of the Olympics fell apart for me and I wonder if others feel the same.

Vote for how much you enjoy the Olympics below-

Matty Olson, owner of Surfside Subs just stopped by to pick up his lobsters to make his outstanding lobster rolls and I asked him when was teh last time he cared about the Olympics.  his response- “Never”  I asked what about the Miracle on Ice?’
His reply he was too young to remember that because he’s 35.
I rest my case.