Rand: Hunt for Olympic gold a Suter family tradition

  • Updated: February 6, 2014 - 7:27 AM

Bob Suter was part of the 1980 gold medal-winning “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic hockey team. His son Ryan, the Wild defenseman, would often bring the medal into school for what has to qualify as the best show-and-tell ever.

There was just one problem: Ryan often forgot to bring it back home.

“I would leave it in my locker for a week at a time,” he said. “I didn’t realize how special it really was.”

Father and son were gathered in the bowels of Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday morning for a pre-Olympics “ceremonial shave” hosted by Gillette. The quiet, laid-back duo self-consciously donned shaving cream and ran blades across their faces as cameras clicked away.

“We’re really doing it. Thank you all for coming and watching us,” Ryan joked.

Many more eyes, of course, will be on Suter next week in Russia when the preliminary round of this year’s Olympic men’s hockey tournament begins.

Suter played for Team USA in the 2010 Vancouver Games, when the squad made a run to the gold medal game before losing in overtime to Canada.

“Being in one Olympics is pretty neat,” Suter said. “Now being in my second is pretty surreal — to have another chance to compete for a gold medal.”

And it brings back memories for his dad.

“You kind of think back to what it was like back then, which is totally different than now — with just the press coverage and how much bigger and stronger these guys are,” Bob Suter said.

Bob was supposed to bring his gold medal to the event Wednesday, but he forgot. Ryan brought his silver medal from 2010 and remarked at the curious look his 3-year-old son gave him when he left the house carrying it.

Maybe in a few weeks he will have a gold medal. And maybe in a few years, he will be the dad with the son who always forgets it at school.

“You can’t win a Stanley Cup in February, so [winning gold] would be the biggest thing,” Suter said. “Just having my kid grow up and having a gold medal like my dad would be pretty special.”

MICHAEL RAND

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  • Ryan Suter and his father, Bob, had a “ceremonial shave” on Wednesday, before Ryan departed for Russia.

  • IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR GILLETTE - Like father, like son: Ryan Suter, left, Minnesota Wild defenseman and Gillette's U.S. athlete ambassador for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, participates in a ceremonial shave and send-off to Sochi with his father, 1980 Olympic Gold medalist Bob Suter on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 in St. Paul, Minn. (Photo by Craig Lassig/Invision for Gillette/AP Images)

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