I’ll do an Olympics recap post over the next week or so. Suffice it to say it kept us supremely busy.
The Paralympics are in full swing and today Aidan and I went to a sledge hockey game: Canada vs Sweden.
Getting into the venue was a completely opposite experience to what we had during the Olympics. There was no line up. There was no bag search. There were no metal detectors.
There was, however, Sumi posing with his adoring public.
The game took place in the new UBC Thunderbird Arena, a 7,000 seat arena built just for the Olympics and Paralympics. It replaced an aging facility that needed replacement anyway. It’s a rather nice building. Being a small arena, there are no bad seats and here’s the pre-game view from ours:
In sledge hockey, all the players sit in sleds supported in the middle by a single skate-like blade and there’s a small support at the front to provide a bit more support. The players use two sticks to propel themselves along the ice, and the sticks double as hockey sticks for shooting and passing.
The game is VERY physical, with many collisions knocking players to the ice or sending them caroming across the ice into the boards. The game was rather lopsided, and the Swedes started showing signs of being a bit dejected. Here’s a shot a post-goal celebration/mourning starting:
In what was one of the best sights of the afternoon, all the (able-bodied) refs knelt down and gave both teams high-fives and fist-bumps. This was, of course, after the two teams had shaken hands at the end of the game. Can you imagine the NHL doing such a thing?
Also very cool — Team Canada spent quite a bit of time at centre ice after the game acknowledging the crowd. Home ice sure is nice, huh guys?
On a side note, we got a new camera after the Olympics and before the Paralympics (barely) so all these pics have been taken with our new Canon T2i. Sure does a nice job!