Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 14: A Wee Bit of American Exceptionalism

So what seems like weeks ago I posted on the Olympics as a necessary corrective to American Exceptionalism. Today, however, I wish to engage in just a little bit of such exceptionalism (and nurse my wounded pride in the process). The U.S Women's hockey team just lost the gold medal match to Canada 2-0. While it was a heartbreaking loss, the Canadians essentially dominated. They stuffed our power play, including two five on threes. We had our chances, but Canada was just consistently too good

That being said (and with all due credit to Canada), I feel that this Canadian win is partially a win for America. Let me explain. There are 22 women on the Canadian hockey team roster. Checking on their bios (available through, I find that 12 of the 22 attend or attended and play or played hockey for American universities and colleges.

Now, I mean no disrespect to Canadian universities; that is not the issue here. The issue here is that over half of the Canadian women's hockey team honed their skills in the United States. I mean to argue that U.S. institutions played some part in the success of this year's gold medal winning Canadian hockey team. I take is at point of pride (acknowledging the complex issues related to the place of international students in American universities) that these Canadian women found in American universities a chance to pursue their educational and athletic goals.

Give us your tired, your poor, your Olympic hockey hopefuls.

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