Frozen Royalty: Olympians Chomping At The Bit For Tournament To Begin
LOS ANGELES — With the 2010 Olympic Winter Games now in full swing, the hockey world is now focused on Vancouver and, more specifically, on the men’s Olympic hockey tournament beginning today.
Five Los Angeles Kings players are in Vancouver, including right wing Dustin Brown (United States), defenseman Drew Doughty (Canada), center Michal Handzus (Slovakia), defenseman Jack Johnson and goaltender Jonathan Quick (USA), and they are chomping at the bit, raring to go.
“I couldn’t wait for it to happen,” Doughty said about the Olympic tournament. “It’s been in the back of my mind even though my main focus is the Kings. I can’t wait to get to Vancouver and get the games going.”
Speaking of being unable to wait, Johnson left the Kings with permission on February 12 to participate in the Opening Ceremonies.
Even though the Kings had played the night before and had another game on February 13, Johnson was not going to miss the Opening Ceremonies—he wanted the full Olympic experience.
“It’s the opening ceremony of the Winter Games,” Johnson exclaimed. “It’s a no-brainer. I had the opportunity, so why waste it? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If I’m fortunate enough to play in the next one, it’s in Russia. I can’t just go over and back.”
Johnson not only walked into Vancouver’s BC Place with the US Olympic Team during the Parade Of Nations, but he also got the opportunity to meet his teammates in other sports and bond with them.
“Last night, when we gathered up all the athletes, we didn’t know each other, we didn’t even know what sport each other played,” he explained. “But, instantly, you’ve got that bond and connection because you’re all representing the USA.”
“It was the coolest experience I’ve ever had in my life, it’s something I’ll never forget. It was something that meant a lot to me to get the full Olympic experience.”
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