It's an event many anticipate each Olympic cycle -- Men's hockey starts Wednesday night. Team USA begins preliminary play against Slovenia.
(Image Source: U.S. Ski & Snowboard / MGN)
There will be a spartan flavor to the American squad. The Olympic dream is a shared one by most elite athletes.
Jim Slater, will finally realize his. "I was really contemplating retirement but then with the news of the NHL not going, my wife's like 'you got to give it a chance.'"
A decision the NHL made for 2018: to not send its athletes to the games. That presented opportunity for Slater. After 10 seasons in the NHL. He's been playing in Switzerland since 2015, making him team USA eligible. He got the call.
The journey to south Korea began nearly two decades ago on the campus of Michigan State. "In the hallway of Munn ice arena, there's a picture of all the Olympians that have ever played. I remember walking by that freshman year, sophomore year, junior year, senior year, thinking it would be so amazing to be part of that picture."
Slater's inclusion marks a 5th straight Olympiad that a spartan will don a team USA sweater. There's a reason why so many ex athletes and hockey players especially and it's special being part of the alumni. Staving off retirement paid off for Slater.
Another MSU hockey alum, Brock Radunske is also a 2018 Olympian. He's representing South Korea.
Incidentally, there has been a spartan in ten consecutive winter Olympics, going back to 1984. We'll have the latest medal count and highlights from tonight's events later on in the newscast.