As the clock wound down on Sunday night’s historic USA-Canada men’s hockey game, the true spirit of the modern-day Olympics was finally realized as a team of American millionaires defeated a team of Canadian millionaires 5-3 in Vancouver.
“These days, the Olympics are all about money, and lots of it,” said International Olympics Committee President Jacques Rogge. “As a very wealthy man myself, it gave me great pride to see those rich young men compete in such an exciting game. It proves that no matter what country you are from, you can achieve whatever you want, so long as you have lots of money.”
Originally intended as a showcase of the world’s best amateur athletes, the Olympics now allow professionals, many of whom are paid millions of dollars a year to compete in their sports’ best leagues. Additionally, cities spend billions of dollars to host the games, and sponsors and TV networks write huge checks to finance them. Fans, for their part, spend millions on game tickets and souvenirs, or subject themselves to hours of TV commercials while watching the games from home.
For the Americans, Brian Rafalski — who is making $6 million to play for the Red Wings this season — scored a pair of goals while Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres — who’s earning $6.25 million this season — was stellar in goal. The Canadians kept it close behind scores from Carolina’s Eric Staal ($4.5 million), New York Rangers’ Chris Drury ($7.1 million) and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby ($8.7 million).
“It gave me such great pride to come out here and represent Team Canada,” said Crosby. “It would have been really nice to pull out a victory, but at the end of the day, I’m still really, really rich, so I’ll probably be just fine.”
By Brad Zibung, founder and editor in chief