I am not a huge hockey fan. I haven’t avidly followed the NHL since late high school and, until a few nights ago, I hadn’t watched a full game of hockey since moving to Bangladesh. I seem to be a poor excuse for a Canadian.
However, it seems that every time the Olympics roll around, I suddenly take a keen interest in the welfare of the Canadian team. One of the proudest, most patriotic moments of my life occurred during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics while watching the gold medal game that pitted the United States against Canada. When Sydney Crosby scored the game-winning goal in overtime, I broke down into an exuberant, gleeful, blubbering, patriotic mess. I have never cried such quantities of happy tears in my entire life. The whole country went nuts with and I was so proud to be Canadian!
Fast-forward to last Sunday, when I watched (with the most welcome company of my little sister Kayla and droves of other Canucks) Canada beat Sweden 3-0 in the comfort of the Canadian Embassy recreational club here in Dhaka. While the game wasn’t even close, the first period was a little dicey and the communal excitement at each of Canada’s three points was heartwarming. I haven’t been that stoked in a long time.
Watching the gold medal game in Bangladesh, where cricket is king, reminded me just how much ice hockey serves to unify the diverse country of Canada into a single identity. The fact that almost half of all Canadians watched the game against Sweden speaks to the massive importance that hockey plays in the lives of Canadians…even those living in Dhaka. I can’t wait to see where I'll the next Winter Olympics!
Go Canada Go!