As part of a weeklong celebration in Washington, D.C., the United States Olympic Committee is hosting tonight's Best of U.S. Awards, commemorating Team USA’s success at the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team is one of three finalists for the Team of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games and will be on hand along with the U.S. Women's Olympic Ice Hockey Team. The Paralympians are also one of five finalists for the Moment of the 2014 Games for its 1-0 gold-medal game victory over Russia and Declan Farmer is one of four finalists for the Best Male Paralympian.
The Best of U.S. Awards is a new USOC program that recognizes outstanding performances from the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as determined by fan vote.
NBC’s Willie Geist will host the inaugural event and more than 1,000 members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family are expected to be in attendance at the Warner Theatre. Figure skaters and commentators Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski will serve as red carpet and backstage correspondents.
In total, 57 athletes earned nominations in eight award categories and winners will be revealed during the show. And more than 200 members of the 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams are confirmed to attend the live taping which will air April 7 on NBCSN from 7-8 p.m. ET.
Prior to the award show, athletes will take part in the Team USA Athlete Celebration supported by BP, a traditional reception that provides an opportunity for members of Congress and other government officials to celebrate with Team USA athletes.
March 27, 2017 | When USA Hockey implemented its American Development Model in 2009, one element of the nationwide age-appropriate training blueprint sparked more debate than any other: cross-ice hockey for 8U players. In the years since, an abundance of evidence, both data-driven and anecdotal, has proven the developmental advantages of cross-ice hockey.
This week, Hockey Canada announced that it too will introduce its players to the game through cross-ice play beginning in 2017-18.
“Re-sizing the playing surface to cross-ice or half-ice means more puck touches, which result in more chances to practice puck control and shooting, as well as overall more movement and motor skill-development – twisting, turning, balance, coordination, agility,” said Paul Carson, vice-president of membership development for Hockey Canada, in a release today. “Their field-of-play matches their size, and these players hone in on their skill-development in a way that larger ice surfaces just aren’t conducive to.”
The Grassroots Show on Ottawa’s TSN 1200 weighed in on the decision. Click the audio link below to hear how Canada is embracing cross-ice hockey for the coming season and beyond.
Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada, appeared on the Grassroots Show to discuss the nationwide shift to cross-ice hockey, beginning this fall for 5- and 6-year-olds and expanding to all of Canada's Novice (8U) level in 2018-19.
“When you see 10 or 12 or 14 or 16 kids out on the ice in between periods and they’re playing 200-by-85 and 3 or 4 kids touch the puck in that whole six minutes, yet there’s people in the stands clapping and thinking it’s wonderful, I just can’t help but think about the 95 percent of the children that didn’t even touch the puck or get from one end of the rink to the other and I ask myself what are we doing when the opportunity is certainly there to have 30 kids on the ice playing cross-ice and everyone is having a much better opportunity to touch the puck, skate a shorter distance and really play. It just boggles my mind,” said Renney.
“We completely embrace, at the Initiation level and the Novice level, cross-ice hockey and we have mandated that in the Initiation program and we will mandate it across the country in Novice hockey.
“This is about the pure enjoyment of the game, and your first connection with it has to be something that’s pure fun, on a surface of play that is conducive to much more participation and joy.”