On Wednesday afternoon in South Korea, the U.S. bowed out of the Olympics with a shootout loss to Czech Republic in the quarterfinals of the men's hockey tournament. The U.S. only won two of five games in PyeongChang.

Of course, NHL's decision not to break for the Olympics hurt the U.S. more than other nations. The squad featured a ragtag group of individuals -- some former NHL players past their prime and some prospects still waiting to reach theirs along with career minor-leaguers.

When NHL players could play in the Olympics, Zach Parise was a staple for Team USA. He served as captain in 2014, but his legacy will forever be remembered for his goal in the 2010 gold-medal game. With the U.S. trailing Canada 2-1 in Vancouver, Parise scored on a rebound with 24 seconds left to stun the Canadian crowd and send the game to overtime.

"That game, still to this day, was the most fun game I've ever played in," Parise says. "That goal, for me, individually, it was special. It was awesome. In the moment, you're not really thinking. Patrick Kane took the shot and it hit off [Jamie] Langenbrunner's skate and I think that fooled Luongo a bit, but somehow, Jamie and I were the only guys in front of the net. I had an open net and tapped in the rebound."

The historical value of Parise's goal still hinged on overtime, which did not go the Americans' way. Sidney Crosby scored for Canada and Team USA was stuck with silver.

The U.S. finished in fourth place in 2014 with Parise as captain.

This year Parise watched much of the Olympics from the Minnesota Wild locker room.

"I'm still just a believer in the Olympics being the best on the best," he says. "It's unfortunate. There are some really, really good young players in the NHL who aren't gonna get the chance to play in the Olympics right now. I know for me how great of a time I had playing in those two. Hopefully, the next one, they'll be able to play. It's just such a great event to be a part of.

"I think the players did fight for it. Trust me, the players want to go. That's where it gets a little hairy, that's where the business parts come in. As players, we're big believers in promoting the game and growing the game and the Olympics is such a great opportunity."

Parise spoke to ThePostGame on Super Bowl Radio Row at Mall of America on behalf of Built with Chocolate Milk. Parise recently returned to the ice after missing the first 39 games of the Minnesota Wild's season due to back surgery.

-- Follow Jeff Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband. Like Jeff Eisenband on Facebook.

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