Mar 19, 2010, 1:00 PM EST
Somewhere there was a Japanese version of Al Michaels yelling into a microphone, “Do you believe in miracles?!” Here’s what the mainstream press does not want you to know: The U.S. will meet Japan for the gold medal in sledge hockey on Saturday following a 3-0 win over Norway in the Paralympic Games in Vancouver. Japan advanced with a 3-1 win over Canada — take that, hosers — on Wednesday. This is my new favorite sport, and after reading the graphs below, it will also be yours.
In sledge hockey — which is open at the elite international level to athletes with a lower body disability, including amputees, paraplegics and spina bifada sufferers — players sit on lightweight titanium sleds, which have skate blades underneath.
They propel themselves around the ice by using short, double-ended hockey sticks, equipped with small picks on one end and curved blades for passing and shooting the puck on the other end.
It was the fourth shutout for the U.S. team, which beat Japan 6-0 earlier in the week. Fun fact: Sledge hockey was invented in Sweden in the 1960s, but the U.S. did not have a team until 1990.
Paralympics Day 7 — Sled hockey going for gold [9 News]
Canada to play for sledge-hockey bronze after 3-1 semifinal loss to Japan [The Province]
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