The United States has a new national flag. It is this GIF of Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson dangling Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados off of a cliff, dragging the puck from right to left and allllllll the way back to the right to score the game-winning goal in a shootout in the gold-medal match to win America’s first hockey gold medal since 1998.
LAMOUREUX’S WINNER. USA GETS GOLD pic.twitter.com/zzPWyilraE— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) February 22, 2018
Holy hell, Lamoureux-Davidson. Thank goodness Canada has universal health care because I think you just broke every bone in that goalie’s lower body. Let’s watch it again.
Lamoureux-Davidson said after the game that she calls her move “Oops! I Did It Again”—you know, because there’s no way Szabados thought it was possible that Lamoureaux-Davidson could switch sides again. Yes, Lamoureux-Davidson is 28, putting her squarely in the generation that grew up with Britney Spears. She’s also part of the generation that watched Team USA win the inaugural women’s hockey gold medal at the 1998 games in Nagano. That win inspired many members of this team to play hockey.
Well, this is a move that little American girls will practice in their driveways and living rooms, dreaming of one day playing for Team USA. Shoot, this is a move little American boys will practice in their driveways and living rooms, dreaming of one day playing for Team USA.
Alt angle on Lamoureux-Davidson's winner. This is art. pic.twitter.com/Sa6vgvuT5P— Eleven Warriors (@11W) February 22, 2018
I can understand why this worked. No Canadian has ever encountered anything this mean in their entire lifetime. Let’s watch it again:
USA-Canada women’s hockey is the best rivalry at the Winter Olympics. They fight sometimes. Canada had won every matchup since the United States’ win in 1998. In 2002, 2010, and 2014, Canada beat Team USA in the gold-medal game. The 2014 game was the most painful: A Team USA shot that would have sealed the game pinged off the post of an empty net. Soon afterward Canada tied the game with 54 seconds to go and won in overtime. I feel like Lamoureux-Davidson dragged that puck from Salt Lake City on the right to Vancouver on the left and then whisked it over to Sochi all the way on the right again before finally slamming it home.
Let’s look at Szabados sprawled helplessly as Lamoureux-Davidson’s shot crosses the goal line:
No, Lamoureux-Davidson didn’t win gold all by herself. Team USA goalie Maddie Rooney helped win it with save after save after save, both in regulation and overtime; Gigi Marvin and Amanda Kessel helped win it with other goals in the shootout; Jocelyne’s sister Monique helped win it with a goal in regulation; the whole damn team won it with 80 minutes of toe-to-toe play against the Canadians, culminating in an overtime period in which the Americans completely dominated Canada; every player who went on strike last year to force USA Hockey to pay our women’s hockey team a wage that would allow them to focus on being the best on the planet helped win this game.
But the Olympics are about moments. And this is one of the best in American Olympic history.