- Men's Hockey
Suter carries on family's Olympic tradition
SOCHI, Russia – The words “Suter” and “Winter Olympics” seem as consistently linked as hockey and the ice it’s played on.
Bob Suter played for the U.S. during the legendary “Miracle on Ice” win against the Soviet Union in 1980 that cleared the path to a gold medal. Gary Suter played in two Olympics for the Americans, helping to collect a silver medal in 2002.
So it probably comes as little surprise that a Suter is in the mix at the Olympics again – with a shot at yet another medal.
“It’s a huge honor, to be an Olympian like my dad and uncle,” Ryan Suter said.
Suter and the Americans practiced Tuesday at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in preparation for their opener Thursday against Slovakia.
Suter, a defenseman for the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, kept his family’s medal tradition intact with a silver medal during the 2010 Games in Vancouver. The 29-year-old would love to move one level up the podium and add to one of the richest legacies in the history of interlocking rings. Suter remembers the advice offered by his father and uncle before his big-stage debut in Vancouver.
“They told me to enjoy it and soak it all up,” he said, “because you don’t know if it will happen again.”
Again, though, is what Suter will cherish most about the trip to Sochi.
The U.S. surprised many by reaching the gold-medal final in Vancouver, pushing powerhouse Canada to overtime before a Sidney Crosby goal ended U.S. hopes in a 3-2 loss.
“Obviously, you’re ticked off about it … but you learn from it,” Suter said. “What do you learn, you’re going to ask? Gotta be better. But we have another chance. I feel very fortunate. Not a lot of people get a second chance.”
The Suter family is made up of do-ers rather than talkers, Ryan said.
Bob Suter rarely talks about the 1980 victory against the Soviet Union that set up the winning final versus Finland.
“My dad’s a pretty quiet guy – doesn’t say too much about it,” Ryan Suter said. “But obviously, it was maybe the greatest U.S. sports team ever.”
And, with Ryan Suter back in the Olympics, one of America’s greatest hockey families has returned. “It’s pretty special,” he said. Bryce Miller writes for the Des Moines Register.
By Bryce Miller USA TODAY Sports