Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks’ Summer Olympics Sports Of Choice

By Colin Likas
Aug 15, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Simone Biles (USA) during the women
Aug 15, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Simone Biles (USA) during the women /
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Which Summer Olympics sports might various Chicago Blackhawks be best at?

The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are wrapping up today with a few final medals to be awarded ahead of the closing ceremony. It’s been a pretty enthralling games, from the action in various sports to the oddities going on outside them (looking at you, Ryan Lochte).

Hockey is part of the Winter Olympics, of course, but what if members of the Chicago Blackhawks had gotten into a different sport? Perhaps a sport that’s included in the Summer Olympics?

That’s what I’m here to look at today. I’m going to offer an Olympic sport that each current Chicago Blackhawk would be most likely to compete in. As a side note, I’m going to avoid track and field since there are wayyyyyy too many individual events to come out of that sport.

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Aug 11, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Fiona Pennie (GBR) during women /

Artem Anisimov: Canoe slalom

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We start with something that isn’t exactly mainstream, and you could say Anisimov isn’t known as a dominant — or mainstream — center in the NHL. But this pick is about more than that. Canoe slalom features athletes trying to hit gates by carefully navigating a sloping downhill course, while occasionally having to push back uphill against rapids.

It’s a grueling task, to go from one task (paddling downhill) to an opposite task (paddling uphill) just like that. Anisimov does this all the time on the ice, playing at even strength, on the powerplay and a man down. He’s also a bigger, stronger guy. You’d imagine it takes a good bit of strength to compete in canoe slalom.

Brian Campbell: Weightlifting

I’m not so sure the Blackhawks defenseman would be great at weightlifting. However, with his new role on this team, it’s an apt sport for him. Campbell has been brought in and tasked with, more or less, saving Chicago’s defense, bringing it back to a former glory. That’s quite a weight on one man’s shoulders, but likely something Campbell will handle with aplomb.

Corey Crawford and Scott Darling: Beach volleyball

Could you imagine this pairing playing beach volleyball? They’d be pretty fierce competitors, and no doubt it’d be hard to get a shot past them. But what makes the goaltenders good for this sport is they have to cover a lot of ground and stop really fast shots with essentially no backup. It’s just them and the ball (puck).

Also, beach volleyball players have to sprawl all over the place to get to the ball. While Crow is usually pretty quiet in the crease, he does he fair share of flying around. Darling, meanwhile, is jumping all over the place in net. They’re perfect for beach volleyball.

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Aug 11, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Fiji back Vatemo Ravouvou (12) takes the ball in for a try as Great Britain back Tom Mitchell (6) falls to the ground during a rugby sevens gold medal match between Fiji and Great Britain at Deodoro Stadium in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports /

Andrew Desjardins: Rugby sevens

Do you like scrumming? Maybe the occasional tackle of an opponent, halting them just short of their goal with physical force? Rugby could be the sport for you. And it’s the sport for the Blackhawks’ rugged-but-offensively-able bottom-six winger.

Desjardins doesn’t score a lot, but he can. Most of what he does involves board battles and using physicality to stop the opposition from scoring. That seems like a perfect fit for rugby. There’s often not a lot of scoring in the sport — it’s a lot more of a physical battle.

Next: A Defenseman In Water Polo?

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