Monday, November 23, 2015

Jim Sedin: Olympic Legend

Jim Sedin was the youngest member of the silver medal winning U.S. Olympic hockey team in the Oslo 1952 Winter Olympics.  Jim scored the tying goal with just over two minutes left in the final game against the mighty Canadians -- without his effort, the U.S. team would have gotten fourth place and would have been left off the medal stand.  Jim was born and raised in the Twin Cities and stayed in town to play college hockey for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and he later went on to get a PhD in electrical engineering from Caltech.

Total run time: 21:33

0:01 - Introduction and background on Jim
1:34 - Jim talks about his early life and lead up to the Olympics
7:13 - the 1952 Olympics
10:49 - Jim's post Olympic career
15:52 - Jim's opinion on the hockey of today
20:28 - Epilogue

The embedded player works best in Google Chrome.  You can also download the mp3 by clicking here, and the podcast is available in iTunes.

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  1. I enjoyed the interview. Even though I'm a native Minnesotan, I've never fully connected with hockey and don't even really understand a lot of the rules, but nonetheless tune in for a game or two every four years for the Winter Olympics. I grew up in a small town and since hockey is an expensive sport we never fielded a hockey team, but Albert Lea right down the road has always been a big hockey town. They even had a minor league hockey team for a while a few years ago.

    But no conversation about Minnesotans on Olympic hockey teams would be complete without mentioning Warroad, Minnesota, a town of 1,700 near the Canadian border (pretty sure it's the northernmost incorporated town in the state) that has sent no fewer than eight players to the U.S. Olympic hockey team over the years, including two on the 2014 team, one of whom score the winning goal in (I believe) the game against the Russians. The town eats, sleeps, and breathes hockey and has been actively grooming olympians for two generations now, usually win the state championship against cities 10 times its size. It's a 10-hour drive from Warroad to where I grew up so I've only been there a couple of times, but in neighboring Roseau they have a shop the size of a Wal-Mart that sells only hockey equipment. I didn't figure Warroad was likely to come up in your interview but was kind of keeping my ears peeled just in case it did. They did a profile it on the national news in 2014 during the olympics.

    1. Thanks for listening and for dropping some Minnesota knowledge. I remember hearing about Warroad in 2014 when they talked about it as the hometown of TJ Oshie who was the penalty specialist for the U.S. It's a real shame that Minnesota lost the North Stars (even though they eventually got the Wild) -- I thought that the Minnesota North Stars was one of the best team names in all of sports. And who can forget Minnesota's greatest hockey export of all time -- Mr. Derek Kirby!

    2. Not sure if you were old enough to remember but the North Stars made the Stanley Cup in (I believe) 1992. Their team had a record below .500 so it was just a matter of getting lucky and making the playoffs and then getting hot at the right time, but that was their definitely the marquee moment of the North Stars' franchise. As I said in my review of "Thin Ice" it very effectively captured the hockey culture of small town Minnesota.

    3. I don't remember that, but it does seem like something that can happen in hockey where a team can sneak into the playoffs and then get hot (more so than basketball where the better teams normally win), especially if the goalie is in good form.