So, Bettman, being the consummate leader familiar face to the media chose to stand up to the I.O.C. in response to whispers and rumors regarding the downgrading of women's hockey in the Olympic games.
"My own view is it's very important to support women's hockey, to maintain its presence at the Olympics. The way women's hockey will get bigger and better around the world is if there's an inspiration of excellence that people can strive for," Bettman said at the Beyond Sport Summit, designed to promote the use of sport to create social change.If women's hockey is to get better with the further development around the world, I would agree that the main stage of Olympic competition has to remain visible or women's desire to play beyond mite, high school, or any university level is going to drastically wain for other opportunities.
"I think it would be a huge mistake for the IOC or the (International Ice Hockey Federation) to consider doing anything that diminishes the role of women's hockey."