Almost fittingly, on Sunday, Feb. 28, the final day of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the Canadian men’s hockey team outlasted Team USA in the gold-medal game, 3-2. It was a hard-fought victory for the Canadians, who had lost to the Americans just one week earlier, 5-3 in preliminary play. Like the three weeks’ worth of competition that preceded it, the men’s title game – decided by Sidney Crosby’s goal 7:40 into overtime – demonstrated the best of what the Olympic spirit is all about.
With that spirit still so prevalent, Upper Deck would like to remind hockey card collectors that its recently released 2009-10 Upper Deck Series Two Hockey set highlights standouts like Crosby and Ryan Miller, Team USA’s goaltender who was voted the Olympic tournament’s MVP. What’s more, many other Olympians from Vancouver comprise “The Champions” 41-card insert set. Headliners include American downhill skiers Bode Miller, who collected gold, silver and bronze medals in the men’s Super Combined, Super-G and Downhill, respectively; and Julia Mancuso, who picked up a pair of silver medals in the ladies Downhill and Super Combined. Women’s hockey player Julie Chu, who helped Team USA win the silver medal last week, is also part of the mix.
A total of 18 different U.S. figure skaters from the past and present are all part of the sought-after insert collection including reigning U.S. National Champions Rachael Flatt and Jeremy Abbott, along with former 1994 Olympic silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan and two-time Olympian Jojo Starbuck. Other U.S. skaters included as insert cards include Johnny Weir, Todd Gilles, Alexe Gilles, Piper Gilles, Madison Chock, Melissa Gregory, Brandon Mroz, Denis Petukhov, Jane Summersett, Timothy Goebel and Zach Donohue. Autographed versions of the figure skaters’ “Champions” insert cards will be included in subsequent Upper Deck hockey card releases including 2009-10 Ice Hockey, SP Authentic and O-Pee-Chee Metal.
In addition to the U.S. Winter Olympians, Canadian Olympians represented inside “The Champions” insert lineup include downhill skier Jean Luc-Brassard, figure skaters Beckie Scott and Kerrin Lee Gartner; and women’s hockey players Kim St.-Pierre, Hayley Wickenheiser, Cassie Campbell and Jennifer Botterill. St.-Pierre, Wickenheiser and Botterill helped this year’s Canadian Women’s Hockey Team secure its third straight gold medal in as many Olympic Games.