I don’t know what it is about hockey that makes being Canadian complete. I think it’s how it brings everyone together, no matter what your history with hockey is. Everybody’s story with hockey is unique and special, be it at the rink or on TV. Our country is made up of so many different races and no matter what sport they came to this country loving, they all adopted the Canadian pastime and cheered for the Maple Leaf at some point during a big event.
As the child of Ecuadorian parents, soccer was my sport. I loved soccer and played it all the time. I wasn’t the greatest in the world but I tried and no matter what I gave it my all. I remember watching world cup games with my dad and going to see the Canadian National team play a friendly against Greece. I don’t remember if we won or lost, but I remember that we had lots of fun. My earliest memory of watching hockey goes just as far back as my memory of soccer.
For me it started with the Great One, the orange 99 skating down the ice. On the couch watching Gretzky lift the cup high in the air, I was so excited and felt like I was lifting the cup myself. I played ball hockey every chance I got and probably would have tried it on ice, if it wasn’t for injuring my knee.
Now as a grown up, I love my Leaf’s (no matter how much they suck) and when team Canada plays, I’ll be sporting my red and white wherever I am, be it work, home or with every other Canadian – at the local pub. I feel the swell of pride when the last second ticks away and everyone is screaming, running out into the streets hugging each other and breaking out into the anthem.
I was born here and I am fully Canadian, but without hockey there would be something missing, something key about being Canadian that I would be without. I’m an Ecuadorian, but Canada is my country and hockey is our national pride!
Go Team Canada Jr! 😀