Summit Series Analysis

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Was The 1972 Summit Series More Than Just A Game? Undoubtedly, a heated competition can be very enjoyable. The 1972 Summit Series however, turned a heated hockey competition into a war on ice. Canada’s and Russia’s differentiating views on the supremacy of Democracy versus Communism caused many fans to feel that the tournament was not just a game. The teams embodied the spirits of the fans bringing fierce competition with them to the ice. The 1972 Summit Series between Canada and Russia was more than just a game because of the way it magnified the conflict of Communism versus Democracy, the ongoing tensions between the people of these two countries, and the existing rivalry between the two teams. The 1972 Summit Series put an emphasis on…show more content…
Ron Ellis, a player on Team Canada, said, “The pressure put on both teams to win was unbelievable. I found myself doing things that were uncharacteristic for me as well, and it was because of the emotion. We felt like we were representing our way of life.” Players on both teams were not only focused on winning the hockey game, but also the thought of defending their nation’s pride. Eventually, nationalism led to impudence. Paul Henderson, who scored the series winning goal for Canada, admitted, "We didn 't take them seriously. We knew they were good hockey players. But the lineup we had -- how could we ever lose?" Team Canada underestimated the Soviets with their overconfidence and displayed a lack of respect for Russia’s talent. This generated anger amongst both teams, which then became evident on the ice. For instance, in the first game of the Series, Bobby Clarke of Team Canada chopped Alexander Maltsev of Team Russia over the head with his stick, and also in Game 6, Clarke chased down Russia’s star player Valery Kharlamov and broke his ankle with a blatant two-handed slash. The uncharacteristic violence in the Summit Series was well above the usual amount of violence in hockey games and showed disregard for sportsmanship. This was due to the extreme tension among both teams. The 1972 Summit Series took an aggressive tournament to the next level. This was influenced by the debate of Communism versus Democracy, and the bitter emotions between the citizens of Canada and Russia. The antipathy the players showed for the opposing team on the ice also played a large factor. As a result of their contrasting points of view, the Summit Series was not only a game, but a symbol of each nation’s supremacy. Therefore, the 1972 Summit Series was indeed more than just a
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