Reflecting on the Opening Ceremonies – GO USA!

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Reflecting on the Opening Ceremonies – GO USA!

Every time the Winter Olympics are about to start, I get a rush of emotions that remind me how lucky I am to be able to say I am an Olympic Gold Medalist. It seems like it was just yesterday that the small town of Lake Placid was transformed into a world stage for athletes from all over the world to compete and live out their dreams. I was only a 21 year old with high expectations, & my teammates and I were committing to a shared dream by believing in something bigger than ourselves. The opening ceremonies is an incredible achievement, a moment I will cherish forever. To be able to walk side by side with the greatest athletes in the world and forget about all the chaos going on in the world outside of the games is something that is hard to put into words. There is a strong presence of nationalism and unity between all countries. Being in the United States and watching our flag wave amongst the rest of the competing countries made me realize that having big dreams is worth all the hard work and that the impossible becomes possible when you believe. There was no doubt that it was the mentorship and sacrifices by an army of role models, especially my family, to help get me to that moment. I would not have had the opportunity to represent our country if it was not from the unwavering support of those around me. I still get chills recalling our national anthem being played when we achieved our dream and won the gold medal – I felt like I was sharing that moment with our country. At that moment, I would have never in my wildest dreams have predicted what our team was able to accomplish or the positive effect that we would have on our country. To a lot of people our game represented hope and allowed them to feel good again and believe that the United States was unstoppable no matter what the odds. It amazes me that still 38 years later, I get stopped and told that people of all ages that they can remember exactly where they were, who they were with, and what they were doing when we defeated the Soviets. My teammates and I now can watch and appreciate all these young athletes live out their own dreams and create their own stories. When the Winter Olympics were held in on Salt Lake City my teammates and I had the honor of lightning the cauldron at the Opening Ceremonies. My role has shifted from a Olympian to a fan, and it amazes me how much technology allows you to feel like you are on the same  journey with these athletes. I wish all of the Olympic and Paralympic athletes a safe and successful journey that they will cherish for a life time. Good luck as the world and I cheer you on along the way!




  1. Kathy Sabourin says:

    Spectacular post – thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions.

  2. Jack Neely says:

    Hi Jim
    Just read your great article in the New England Hockey Journal. Congratulations
    on your 60th birthday. One thing missing from the article was the time Paul Keyes
    and I invited you (a freshman) to fill in for the senior goalie and skate with the big kids one Sunday morning at the Boston arena.
    I”ll bet you never new how much your freshman goal tending and poise impressed us old folks and we wanted you back every week
    The Oliver Ames team was looking to get more ice time so Paul and I talked about bringing
    the whole team in on Sunday mornings at 7:00am which began a great time and many great memories
    and future friendships for us all. I believe Rick Bodio approached Paul for the team and it became a special
    time for us
    Be well
    Jack Neely