Last week, the U.S. Junior Hockey Team, made up of various college students from across the country, took to the ice in Gothenburg, Sweden, for the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship to face Sweden in the championship match that resulted in a 6-2 victory for the United States. Following their victory, the team of young men showed the rest of the sports world what it means to be a patriotic American by loudly singing "The Star Spangled Banner" following their gold medal game.
Michigan State University's Isaac Howard scored two goals during the game, and four other players scored on the Swedish defenders. "The guys played excellent today," head coach David Carle said, per USA Hockey. "It's a joy for them. They focused on getting to this game and playing their best for the last game of the tournament, and I thought they did that. It's a great honor to be a part of a winning team."
Following their victory, the team took to the ice alongside the Swedish team for the playing of the national anthem. The roughly two dozen players stood side by side in Team USA's red, white, and blue jerseys, with their arms around each others' shoulders and gold medals around their necks. The team belted out the anthem passionately as multiple players hollered and shouted at its conclusion. Footage of the team's rendition quickly went viral on social media, with Americans praising the team for their patriotism.
"It's easy to see why they are a winning team. As bad as they sing, it's obvious they play for each other. That! Is the mark of a champion," wrote one user in response to the team.
"So nice to see young Americans proudly stand for our flag & sing the national anthem. We don't see that as often any longer. Good job gentlemen on the W," commented another proud American.
"And this is why nobody cares about that 🇺🇸 soccer player anymore. Wait… what's her name again?" another user wrote about former USA Women's Soccer captain Megan Rapinoe, who infamously kneeled during the national anthem.
As outright displays of patriotism become increasingly rare in modern society, it is heartwarming to see these successful young men feel pride in their country. These displays of patriotism should be more commonplace in American sports, even if the players could use some singing lessons.
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