Due to the domination of the North American nations in Women’s Ice Hockey, discussion has surfaced regarding the viability of the sport in the Winter Olympics. Women have been treated as second class citizens in sports for ages. After years of ignoring and failing to support women’s sports, a few nations decided to reverse this trend. The increased support and funding for women’s sports programs has led to faster development and thus domination of other countries in international play.
The positive support of these programs has bettered the sport and the product that spectators come to watch. Competitive spirit has encouraged other nations to start providing a bit more support to their women’s hockey programs with an eye on international competitions. Just as this is gaining some momentum, some men, who have always had support and encouragement in sports, are calling for the sport to be removed from the international stage because it is boring to see the same teams win all of the time. There are likely some women involved in the decisions regarding the sports included in the Olympics, but these committees have historically preferred men’s sports. The Winter Olympics is the biggest, most far reaching showcase for women’s hockey without question. This opportunity to show the world the game draws more attention to the sport and inspires new participants.
Because a few nations have decided to give women more of a chance and others have been dragging their feet, some people want to deny the sport its biggest stage. That seems to be the most effective way to kill the sport as opposed to giving it time to grow and become more competitive. Why would other nations give support to programs that will not be noticed without the Olympics? Sure, some of us will pay attention to women’s hockey regardless of the Olympics but to be honest, it is a lot easier to support a sport when it is actually on television. Taking the sport off of the world stage will essentially kill it in many nations.
All of this leads to one conclusion: Progress deserves punishment when it comes to women’s sports.