Hockey Night in Dalian. Sidney Scores! (Update)

This piece has been updated to include a footnote I forgot, some photos, and miscellaneous textual massaging. Don’t miss a single revision!

Hey, last night I saw my first hockey game in, what, four years? Five? It was another gold-medal match involving the Canadian men. (I used to be a Canadian man¹: player of hockey, dropper of final –g’s, flinger of ehs.² I didn’t ever see the 2010 final with the Americans in Vancouver, Chinese TV being what it is, though of course I’ve watched numerous replays of the famous Sidney Crosby overtime game-winner. (It’s hard to avoid that sanctified bit of video in Canada, even in our summers back home.)

¹ For the sake of perfect academic propriety and of respect for scratchy vinyl comedy, I tip my keys to the great Bill Cosby, and an early ‘70s routine questioning the motives of young men towards his daughters: I know what men are like! I used to be a man before I got married! Ba-da-boom.

² I noticed recently that in five years in China, though my grasp of Hanyu remains pretty shaky and small, my Canuck eh? has changed to a more Chinese ah in my questions and explanations. My North American right? has become a more international yeah, as in “We’ll each pay for our own meal, yeah?”

My gal is no Sports Gal, but it was her who knew the timing and suggested we try CCTV 5, the Chinese ESPN (or TSN in Canada), in case the final game with Sweden was on. I mocked her naivete – are you kidding? There’ll be nothing but short-track speedskating on repeat, or maybe a montage of great moments in Chinese curling – but that didn’t stop me from turning it on or from finding out she was right. (Again!)

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Olympics: Past and Passed-On (Turin Flashback Alert!)

As I mentioned, I find myself about 70,000 long slapshots from the Winter Olympics in Russia, which isn’t much farther than I’d be if I was home in Ottawa. I’m between ocean and hilly jungle on an island off southern Thailand, trying to summon greater interest in skates and skis and snow; the medal list, at least, is rewarding for a Canadian chauvinist, as we’ve been top 3 pretty much from the start. Television isn’t an option here, though. (I miss Ron McLean. I miss Bob Costas, even though NBC’s coverage of past Olympics has always been a source of perverse Canadian pride and sniggers, as the Canadian Corp does a much better job overall, and less slickly.)

I went looking for what I’d written about Vancouver 2010. Surely I’d had something to say about Super Sidney’s gold-winning goal to beat the Americans! Nope. Or that avalanche of medals, our best result ever, and by far, on home ice? I just read about ’em. The opening and closing ceremonies were great, though I can’t remember how we saw them; I think we were in Thailand then, too, courtesy of the Chinese spring festival holiday, or maybe we saw the ceremonies on CCTV 5, their sports channel, and went to

Remember her? What does Jennifer do now? Gold medals are forever, I guess, but here’s hoping life hasn’t been downhill since this youthful glory.

Thailand in between. (Plausible.) Our sojourn in the Middle Kingdom, now approaching five years, has forestalled my rabid consumption of college hoops (American and local) and of Olympics (icy style). My goodness: the last significant blathering I did on snow-sport was for Turin 2006. There’s lots to read in the February 2006 archives (see below and right), but here’s a brief blast from the Howdy past. Does anybody remember Jennifer Heil?

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