Photography by Thuy-Vi Ong
We’re Aussies and we love our sport, right? If you don’t, I think you might be part of the minority. Aussies are passionate folk, but it turns out we’re not the only ones who love to yell and wave our flags (in case you hadn’t noticed). There is one sport that plays a huge role in the life of every Canadian, one that they love more than their own children or parents. That sport, is Ice Hockey, or simply Hockey. Not loving hockey is probably on a par with treason in this country.
Hockey is the sport every Canadian grows up playing, whether it be on the ice or in the streets. The national competition, the NHL, is comprised of teams from across Canada and the United States as each year they compete for the Stanley Cup. You could call it AFL for Canucks, as every Canadian exudes passion for their team, and there are age-old rivalries that set many pub alight. But all these were tossed aside as the best of the best were compiled to form Team Canada, who took up their sticks to play for THE WINTER OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL!
I have been lucky enough to experience the patriotism Canada has shown these winter Olympics. There was a lot riding on their performance here, as Canada had never won gold on home soil before, and they had recently lost the World Junior Hockey Champs to the US. Turns out they won the most gold medals at a single Winter Olympics ever, and *spoiler alert* they killed the US in overtime in the Men’s Ice Hockey final.
And it was as Sidney Crosby scored that final goal that madness erupted across the Nation. Canada beat the US and proved to the world once again that they were the greatest at this sport, and they did it on their own turf. The sight in Toronto was insane, with people hanging out of car windows holding their Canadian flags, people climbing up traffic lights in the city centre. It’s the type of sight you might expect if all the inmates at Arkham Asylum were let loose, but instead of being horrific it was a showing of national pride.
Team Canada’s hockey win will go down as a moment in Canadian sporting history, and quite right too. I am a proud Australian who cheers as loudly as the rest when Australia dominates, but on Sunday I was proud of the Canadians, as much as the guy next to me who had citizenship. I love that thousands of miles from home I can feel such a bond with the people of this country. This world is not that small and the truth is Australia isn’t the only place that can feel like home.
So I’ll leave you by saying GO CANADA GO with an OI OI OI on the side.