The Freezing Outdoor Affair
My whole life has been based with skates on my feet and a stick in my hand. Since I was the age of 2 I had been skating or being involved in someway with hockey. Home for me is at the rink, the feeling of your face feeling numb and cold, or your feet being frozen. The moments of despair and defeat compared to the moments of victory, 2 completely different feelings but both bring out the true colours in people. The excitement of winning the game or when mom would always say, “the hot chocolate is ready.” Hockey is more than just a game, it brings out friendship, it brings out excitement and it brings out the best in people.
It was minus 25, snow was drizzling down in the city of Regina, it was the 2019 Heritage Classic winter classic hockey game between the Flames and the Jets. I was a fan of neither of these teams but I was a Canadian and I knew this was a once in a lifetime experience to watch. Seeing how huge this was to Saskatchewan and how much this game impacted social media just made me feel so amped up for the game. The atmosphere in the stadium was something I had never experienced before, fans screaming cheering their teams on as they sat bundled up like a cacoon due to the freezing weather. The love and passion for the game was still there though it didn’t matter how cold it was to all these fans, they continued to show their love for the game and how hockey will always be Canada’s game. Everyone either had a beer or hot chocolate, typical Canadians, as everyone sat on the edge of their seats cheering like it was the Stanley Cup. Even though at the start of the game I didn’t feel like I had to cheer for anyone when the first period came I had to pick a team, I had hockey blood since I was a kid and I knew I had to jump on one side everyone in the crowd was screaming so I had to be a Canadian too and join in. In a sold out crowd watching two Canadian teams play a sport Canadians call as theirs, while the weather is typical freezing cold Canadian weather, drinking Tim Hortons hot chocolate, what is more Canadian than that? When a goal was scored getting up and giving high fives to random people that you will never see again in your life but the feeling of being best friends for 3 hours because you both were passionate about the game. This experience made me feel like I truly am a Canadian and it started since I was a little kid watching hockey, or skating or looking through hockey cards with the biggest smile on my face. Within my experience even though it wasn’t either of my favourite teams to watch I still had chills from head to toe watching the game and experiencing the stadium erupted after a goal. After the game I remember my whole body was numb I couldn’t feel my hands or feet as they were frozen, it was the worst feeling in the world, but I’m used to the cold and the hockey world I would do it again in a heartbeat. Personally I don’t think any sport will ever compare to the taste of hot chocolate, or rips that go down your back of skates on ice, or the thwack of a stick hitting the ice. Hockey has given me a true identity and it influences people from the day they were born until the day they die.