Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Eric Heiden: Speed Skating Superstar 4

Posted on February 11, 2014 by Dean Hybl

The February Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the individual star of the Winter Olympics best remembered for the performance of one team.

During the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, 21-year-old Eric Heiden completely dominated the men’s speed skating events winning all five gold medals. Read the rest of this entry →

35 Years Ago: Dorothy Hamill Skates Her Way Into America’s Heart 3

Posted on February 13, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Dorothy Hamill captured the heart of America at the 1976 Winter Olympics.

The grace and art of ladies figure skating has always been captivating to Americans. From the days of Sonja Henie, to Carol Heiss, Peggy Fleming, Katarina Witt and more recently to Tara Lipinski, Sarah Hughes and Yuna Kim, success on the Olympic stage has meant international fame and recognition for the greatest women on ice.

Perhaps no skater has quite captured the hearts and captivated the interest of both die-hard and casual fans more than a red-cheeked young lady who skated her way into the hearts of many Americans 35 years ago.

It seems difficult to believe that it was indeed 35 years ago, February 13, 1976, when Dorothy Hamill gave the performance of a lifetime to capture the Olympic Gold Medal in Innsbruck.

Not only did Hamil capture the gold medal, but her illuminating smile, beauty and hairstyle led her to be dubbed “America’s Sweetheart.”

Her trademark camel spin that turned into a sit spin became known as the “Hamill camel.” Her bobbed hairstyle created an American fad as teenage girls across the U.S. soon were sporting a similar look.

After winning the Olympic Gold, Hamill won the World Championships and then retired from competition. She spent eight years as a headliner with the Ice Capades and in the ensuing years has been involved in numerous skating ventures.

She also has been twice married and divorced and gone through bankruptcy and fought breast cancer.

Yet to anyone who saw her compete in Innsbruck, she will always be “America’s Sweetheart.”

Below is the freestyle program that won her the gold medal in 1976.

Team USA Hold Your Heads High 10

Posted on February 28, 2010 by Joe Gill

Ryan Miller was the Hockey Tournament MVP.

Ryan Miller was the Hockey Tournament MVP.

The Men’s USA Hockey team fell short in their quest for Gold losing 3-2 in overtime.

There was no Miracle On Ice or Squaw Valley.

However, this team has NO REASON to hang their heads.

No one gave them a shot at a medal. No one gave them a shot to beat Canada in their first matchup.

But that’s what America is all about.

No one gives us a chance but we always rise to the occasion.

We always rally around each other.

We always bounce back.

Team USA trailed 2-0 going into the second period and cut the lead to one. U.S. Goalie Ryan Miller was all world in this tournament and he kept his team in it yet again.

The Americans continued to attack and pressure the talented Canadian team. Team Canada netminder, Roberto Luongo looked shaky and let up rebound after rebound.

The clock worked against the Americans as they trailed by one with less than two minutes left. They could have mailed it in. They could have conceded to the country that invented the sport.

However, Americans don’t quit or give up, we persevere.

And persevere they did.

Read the rest of this entry →

Alex Ovechkin Serves as Russia’s “Pinch Hitter” 0

Posted on February 24, 2010 by Angie Lewis
The hit heard around Russia.

The hit heard around Russia.

Alex Ovechkin is one of those players who can change the flow of a game with one play. Sometimes, it’s with a scintillating goal from some obscure position. Other times, Ovechkin just knows how to be in the right place at the right time.

Sunday during the Czech Republic vs. Russia game was a perfect example of Ovechkin’s good timing. While Ovechkin is known to be a great scorer, he is also known for delivering the big hit from time to time. It was in this game where Ovechkin put a hit on Czech superstar Jaromir Jagr that declared Russian control of the game.

In the final period Russia lead 2-1, the Czechs had to make some moves offensively to tie the game, and they had to do it soon. Jagr had possession of the puck on his way toward Russian territory.

Back when I played hockey, I rarely heard any other piece of advice as much as I heard, “Keep your head up!” Especially in open ice.

Read the rest of this entry →

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Mens Hockey : Last Games of the Seeding Round 88

Posted on February 21, 2010 by Scott Weldon
Ice Hockey - Day 9 -Russia v Slovakia

The  top six teams in the men’s Olympic hockey tournament play each other today in the final game of the seeding round.  The winners today and the loser with the best record will grab the four tournament byes into the quarterfinals. Win the quarter final game and you’re guaranteed to play for a medal.

The match-ups feature the countries that met in the last three olympic gold medal games. Group A features the USA versus Canada game a reprise of Salt Lake City. The Czech versus Russian gold medal game from Nagano is also the final match-up in group B. Group C is a game  between Turin’s gold and silver medalists Sweden and Finland.

The point system for this olympics has a bureaucratic complexity that makes one fear the NHL will be adopting it for their regular season immediately.

The Russians have lost a shoot-out game to the Slovaks already.  A loss to the Czechs will drop them behind Slovakia to be seventh seed in the tournament. Canada with their overtime win over Switzerland garnering them only two points will not  get a bye without a victory over the Americans.

Hopefully it won’t come down to goal differentials to determine final seeding. Then the complexities will grade into byzantine ones. Read the rest of this entry →

Why I Like Shaun White 2

Posted on February 20, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Snow Boarding

Shaun White's joy during his Olympic medal ceremony epitomizes what is good about the Olympics.

I must start this article off by saying that I know absolutely nothing about snowboarding, the lingo or what qualifies someone as being good at the sport. However, after watching how Shaun White has handled himself off the slopes, I’m willing to learn.

With his long red hair, non-traditional outfits and crazy tricks, White is not exactly typical of the athletes that I generally gravitate toward. And while I have always enjoyed winter sports like skiing and ski jumping, I have not warmed to what I see as the brashness of participants in some of the newer “X Game” type sports.

But, after watching the now two-time Olympic halfpipe champions pure joy at being part of the Olympic experience, I’m beginning to think that I should rethink my bias.

While some athletes such as Bode Miller and Shani Davis seem to epitomize the definition of surly, White has been bouncing around the Olympics like a kid in a candy store. That seems especially amazing considering that this is his second go around as part of the Olympic experience. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Follow Us Online

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Tony Oliva: Hall of Fame Worthy
      April 21, 2019 | 5:18 pm
      Tony Oliva

      Cuba is known for producing great baseball talent and there has arguably been no one from the island better than the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Sign up for Email Updates

    Sign-up to get daily updates of all the great articles and information on Sports Then and Now.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Affordable Satellite TV Great prices on Dish network packages.

  • Gear up for your next trip with new North Face Backpacks from SportsUnlimited.com. Shop great Field Hockey Sticks from Grays & Gryphon.

    Football Jerseys

    8mm film to digital
  • Current Poll

    Which NBA Team Will Win More Games in 2019-2020?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top