What Hockey Means To Canada, In The Words Of A Non-Canadian.
These are the words of my friend Asami. She is a wonderfully cultured and intelligent person. She is from Japan but now attends University in Ontario. This was a series of tweets she posted about yesterday’s hockey game between USA and Canada. It made me emotional because I find it very accurate, at least to me. I love that she shared this:
At the university today EVERYTHING STOPPED to watch the Canada vs USA Olympic ice hockey match. It was beautiful. Almost every person (including me) was wearing something with ‘Canada’ or a Maple Leaf on it. I was surround by people of virtually every race & ethnicity & it wasn’t being Canadian that united them today it was ice hockey. It was impossible not to understand that. I’ve been on every continent, but Antarctica at least twice & I have never been anywhere in which one particular sport was so important to a people. It is not like football is in USA, UK or Brazil. It’s much much more than that. Canada is a massive country with a small population strung out across a continent. It is ice hockey that unites them & makes them a people & a nation. Ice hockey is not just an important part of Canadian culture; it’s a vital part of Canadian identity. I saw that so clearly today. It was impossible not to see that. During the match I asked my friend why it was so important to her that Canada win in ice hockey & she said to me with tears in her eyes “Because it’s OUR GAME.” At that moment it became MY GAME too.