Wednesday, July 19, 2006

2/3rds of hat trick at '84 Olympics
Tomassoni remembers goal, son born on same day

(left) David Tomassoni was a rugged defenseman for the Pioneers from 1972-75. The article below details his experiences at the 1984 Olympic Games. David graduated from DU and worked in the Insurance business before being elected.

Bill Hanna
Mesabi Daily News
Feb. 8, 2006

Twenty-two years ago today, University of Denver Alum 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.

There were several other Americans playing different sports for different countries, including a downhill skier for Egypt. A few days after the Italy-Russia game, another famed sportscaster, Dick Schaap, did a television interview with the American foreign national players, including Tomassoni.

“He said I scored two-thirds of a hat trick (a hockey term for three goals in a game) against the Russians ... a goal and a son,” Tomassoni said with a laugh.

And where will Danny Tomassoni be tonight to celebrate his 22nd birthday? Appropriately at a Minnesota Wild National Hockey League game in St. Paul.

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