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Sen. Tomassoni was an Olympian? With Italy?

Posted at 3:16 PM on May 1, 2008 by Michael Marchio (2 Comments)

Apparently so, according to Sen. Gen Olson (R-Minnetonka). She informed the body of this neat factoid when offering an amendment to the state government policy bill, SF3190, to the make hockey the official state sport. She also said Sen. Jim Metzen (DFL-South St. Paul) was a goalie, and holds a record for saves at South St. Paul high school. Her amendment was adopted, and while I don't know how the governor feels about the rest of the bill, but I'm sure he'll like her amendment.

The blog "Lets Go DU" a University of Minnesota Duluth hockey blog, actually picked up a story from the Mesabi Daily News about Sen. Tomassoni the Olympian.

Twenty-two years ago today, David Tomassoni of Chisholm scored a unique two-thirds of a hat trick at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

Tomassoni, now a DFL state senator, was a 31-year-old member of the Italian National Team in the locker room and ready to take the ice against the vaunted Russian squad when his stomach "did a back-flip. I turned to a teammate and said, 'Mike, I think my baby might have just been born over in Hibbing. And, you know what else, I might just score a goal today,'" Tomassoni said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

He was right on both counts.

That day at the Hibbing hospital, his wife, Charlotte, gave birth to their third child, Danny.

Meanwhile, the Italians would play well against a much stronger and heavily favored Russian team, losing 4-1.The lone Italian goal was scored by Tomassoni, who at the time only thought he was a father a third time.

There were no cell phones two decades ago, so Tomassoni had to seek out a land line after the game to call back home.

"I was trying to find a phone when I ran into Brent Musburger (longtime and well-known television sportscaster) who directed me to the press room. I called home and found out Danny had been born a couple hours earlier," Tomassoni said of his youngest child.

Tomassoni was one of three Americans playing as foreign nationals on the Italian hockey team, which finished in ninth place, with its lone win against Poland. "We finished one place lower than expected," he said.

Also included in that bill is Sen. Ann Rest's proposal that would allow state employees 3-hours paid leave to donate blood. No vote yet on the overall bill, I'll keep you posted on it.

Background checks for coaches seems like a bill that would pass pretty easily, but Rep. Karla Bigham (DFL-Cottage Grove) had to fight to get it through today. It had been approved earlier, but had to go to conference committee to smooth out the differences with the Senate. Hey, more points for her. There was a surprising amount of opposition, with Rep. Mark Buesgens (R-Jordan) saying actions like requiring background checks is eliminating trust in society. Others were concerned whether the bill would hurt volunteering in rural Minnesota, because of the invasion of privacy and. The bill doesn't actually make any requirements on what schools do with the background checks, just that they conduct them. Then the schools themselves can judge for themselves if a person has a criminal history whether they want to employ them.

Rep. Neva Walker's sex ed provisions in the education policy bill have been deemed unacceptable by Gov. Pawlenty. Does that mean we've got a veto override on the way?

Tomorrow, we'll have a weekly recap for you, so check back.


Comments (2)


you (or rather Sen. Rest) hit one of my pet peeves: blood donation. Giving an employee a few hours off every 8 weeks or so to donate blood seems a reasonable accommodation. Even if it gets limited to 4 times per year. The American Red Cross is desperate for blood donors.

I'm not sure who's doing the squashing - either the Red Cross and other blood agencies) or the FDA - by eliminating donors due to a ridiculous limit about overseas travel.

Things that will encourage more donor should be encouraged.

Posted by GopherMPH | May 1, 2008 11:05 PM


Yeah, I think the biggest problem that some lawmakers had with this is that state employees would be paid while they aren't actually working. I'll be writing about it today, so check for the post.

Posted by Michael Marchio | May 2, 2008 1:40 PM