Bobby Ryan: A bittersweet finish to the Winter Olympics
Well, the Olympics are now over, but I had a great time in Vancouver. I was really able to soak up every moment of it and make it a trip worth remembering. It’s something that I won’t forget; how cool it was to represent my country and play in some pretty big games.
The gold-medal game was actually at 12:20 p.m. local time, 20 minutes later than when we normally played in Vancouver. I think that had us extra anxious to get started, it was quiet in the locker room. Guys were trying to get focused and really just wanting to get the game going because we knew what it was going to be like.
It was a heck of a day and I had a blast. It was unlike any other game that I have played, that’s for sure. The Canadian fans were rowdy, and the U.S. fans were rowdy, too. We could hear the U.S. chants quite a bit. It would have been nicer had we come out with a win, but it was still pretty cool to be able to play in a game that went into overtime and really make a push for a gold medal.
Being awarded an Olympic silver medal is a very bittersweet experience. That’s the best way I can put it. You want to soak it up and enjoy the moment when you receive the medal, hang onto it and cherish it. But at the same time, you’ve just lost a game that meant quite a bit to you. It’s tough. That being said, after spending 30 minutes doing interviews and getting back to our rooms, we were able to enjoy the moment amongst ourselves. We had one hell of a group. I still think we were a team that was thrown together hoping to go in and try to medal. To be a team that almost ran the table, it meant a lot. We had a good night after the game, but we had to part ways Monday and that was tough. Standing on the ice with those 20 guys collecting their medals is a feeling I will never forget.
I’m hoping our success puts USA Hockey more on the map. We’ve taken some great strides lately with the World Junior Championship in January and the women’s team reaching the goal medal game in Vancouver. We also just won the under-18 world championship. I think all that success has a trickle-down effect through the media to the general public. To hear about the ratings that NBC got for our game, it’s just awesome. It’s nice to see there were so many people behind us. It was a pretty incredible game to be a part of, that‘s for sure.
Thanks for reading my blog – I hope all of you enjoyed the Olympics! It’s time to get back to the playoff race!
-- Bobby Ryan
Winger Bobby Ryan of the Ducks and the U.S. Olympic hockey team joined The Times' Olympic blogged periodically during the Vancouver Games. Ryan, 22, was playing in his first Olympics.
Photo: Our guest blogger accepts his silver medal after a hard-fought 3-2 overtime loss to Canada in the Vancouver Games' gold-medal hockey game. Credit: Clem Murray / McClatchy-Tribune