home | Feature Articles | Expat Canadians pumped up with pride . . .
 

The Associated Press, Chris Carlson
The Associated Press, Chris Carlson

Expat Canadians pumped up with pride overseas after gold-medal game

By Lucas Robinson, The Canadian Press
Printer-Friendly Format

March 1st, 2010

LONDON - From the Arabian desert to central London, Canadian pride glowed around the the world as expats tuned in to watch their men's national hockey team capture Olympic hockey gold on Sunday.

From the Arabian desert to central London, Canadian pride glowed around the the world as expats tuned in to watch their men's national hockey team capture Olympic hockey gold on Sunday.

Gathered in pubs and international hotels and at embassy parties, they defied distance to celebrate Team Canada's pulsating 3-2 overtime victory over the United States.

In London, patrons of a Canadian bar - The Maple Leaf - were lining up nine hours before game time to guarantee themselves a seat. Some even sported those recognizable red mittens, mailed overseas to them by their parents.

"I could not be more proud of my country - that was amazing!" shouted Janet Porter of Vancouver, tears of joy pouring down her cheeks.

Clad in red and white from head to toe, she and compatriots crammed into the pub were on pins and needles as the overtime began.

They broke into a chorus of "Canada! Canada! Canada!" after Sidney Crosby's game-winning goal.

"I was out last night with a Norwegian, a Swede and an Australian - everyone was talking about today's game," said Shannon Leano of Calgary.

Sean Aneja, of Windsor, Ont., searched online for the "best bar to watch the Olympics."

"It was either here, or Vancouver!"

Trafalgar Square, home to Canada's high commission in Britain, had been "taken over by Canadians," according to one report on Twitter. It described the scene as a "sea of red and white."

There were similar scenes in Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East.

In Kandahar city, hundreds of Canadian soldiers and civilians who make up Canada's Provincial Reconstruction Team watched the game in the middle of the night alongside a group of Americans who are in the minority at the camp.

The hockey faithful's ruckus response at victory may have even drowned out the roar of the fighter jets flying overhead.

"No one is sleeping on this base!" said Farhaan Ladhani, who is stationed in Kandahar.

On the Arabian peninsula, some sought a way to enjoy the game the traditional Canadian way: while knocking back a cold one.

Hanna Issa, of Montreal, is currently in Doha, Qatar, where she and her husband were getting ready to drop in on "one of the few international hotels where you can cheer for a hockey game the old-fashioned way - with a beer in your hand."

Back in London, Jason Arruda, from Victoria, was extremely nervous as the third period began.

"I'm so stressed I can't even express it," Arruda said. "But at the end of the day, this is our game."

Canadian Jeff Bewick, a manager of the Maple Leaf bar, said this was the busiest he'd seen the bar since moving to London over a year ago.

"Canada Day was crazy, but this is absolutely manic!"

Adrian Mucalov, who recently moved to London, was similarly enthused.

"I've watched the Super Bowl with Americans, the football World Cup with Britons, and the Olympics in Beijing, but I've never seen a crowd as spirited as the Canadians here today," he said.

Printer-Friendly Format