A childhood dream come true for Steven Stamkos?

Published December 21, 2021 at 7:08 PM

With the announcement that NHL players will not participate in the Beijing Olympics, the disappointment was palpable for many. Just like winning the Stanley Cup, winning a Gold medal for your country is also a boy's dream.

That dream has just evaporated for Lightning forward Steven Stamkos. The Lightning captain has been plagued by bad luck every time the Olympics come around.

In Vancouver in 2010, Stamkos was part of the Gold medal-winning edition, but he didn't play in any games. Then, in 2014, he suffered a broken tibia that prevented him from participating in the Olympic tournament in Sochi. Then, in 2018, the NHL players had not been allowed to participate in the Games presented in Pyeongchang.

"You grow up dreaming of winning a Stanley Cup and I was able to accomplish that. You also grow up wanting to represent your country at the Games and win gold. That's something I'll never get a chance to do now," he told the media, as reported by The Athletic.

Of course, it's not impossible that Stamkos will still be playing hockey in 2026, but will he be competitive and healthy enough to make the Canadian Olympic roster? That's the question we have to ask.

Furthermore, Stamkos isn't the only one affected by the decision to forgo the Olympics. Many of the new generation of hockey players have not yet had the chance to represent their country at the Olympics. Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and Adam Fox come to mind.

"I sympathize with those who missed a few opportunities. It's not an event that happens every year. You can't say you're going to push a few more months to get back next year, Crosby said. Games are an opportunity and the experience of a lifetime that doesn't come around often. Sometimes it's a chance that only comes around once."

In short, it's sad news that we learned today, but not really surprising with the way the pandemic has progressed in the last few days. Let's hope that we will finally have the chance to see this famous Olympic tournament with the best players in the world in the near future!
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