January 31, 2014
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David Backes, 29, Ice Hockey (U.S.A.)


Ice hockey player David Backes returns for his second Winter Olympics, after making his debut at the 2010 Games in Vancouver. As an international competitor, he also represented the U.S. in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships every year from 2007 through 2009. At the 2010 Olympics, Backes played in a nail-biter of a gold-medal game against Canada. The U.S. team was one overtime goal away from winning, and capturing its first gold medal since 1980. With seconds left, Canada scored the final goal, beating the Americans 3-2. The U.S. team took home silver. Backes doesn’t know if the U.S. and Canada will have a gold-medal rematch in Sochi, but in December, he told Sports Illustrated Kids that Team USA has “unfinished business” there. “To go into overtime in the gold-medal game and not come away with the gold medal, I think there’s a fire burning in each one of us,” he said. —By Glenn Greenberg                    

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