My Special Olympic Hockey Experience

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics provided the hockey world with one of the best games in memory. Like virtually the entire hockey population of North America, and every hockey fan around the globe with access to a television, I watched the gold medal game that featured young and exceptionally skilled USA and Canada teams.

The game also brought a special experience for me. Visiting in St. John’s, Newfoundland at the time afforded me unique memories of the game.

I spent the afternoon at a local rink participating (and not really helping much) with a local hockey school run by Andy Sullivan, Russ Adam, and their staff. They ran four 1 hour sessions for local minor hockey players of different ages, as they do every Sunday all winter long. Great grass roots stuff.

Andy Sullivan and his wife Pam hosted a neighborhood party that evening with the gold medal game the featured attraction. Great hospitality, food, conversations, and a spectacular game!

Post game was another unique experience. Andy, his son Shane, daughter Claire, and seemingly everyone else on the cul-de-sac were all outside. A spontaneous street hockey game was in full swing. It started as a 5 on 5 game but quickly grew to mass participation due to the number of players on the sidelines eager to get in the game.

It would be easy to classify this as a true grass roots hockey experience.

I can’t recall the last time I played street hockey. Doesn’t matter. This was like going back to my roots in the game-with an aching body the next few days to remind me how long it really has been since the last game.

Canada got the gold medal, USA got the silver, and the rest of us in the hockey world got a special Olympic hockey experience.

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