Canadian expats take a time out to cheer Olympic ice hockey

Sports Bar Warren 77 in Tribeca pulls in the hockey fansHOST INTRO: Today is the second day of men’s ice hockey in the Olympic Winter Games. That means Canadian expats now have a reason to take long lunch breaks to watch the games live. Eleanor Stanford visited a sports bar to soak up the atmosphere.

Bar staff at Warren 77 in Tribeca turned up to work four hours early. They anticipated a bigger than usual lunchtime rush.

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Sure enough, noon struck and the Canada – Austria Olympic hockey game started on the six flatscreen TVs.

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And then the Canadians arrived.

It did not appear to be an important game – it was just Team Canada’s second of the tournament. But for Canadians, it mattered.

WARREN: This is a big deal for me and all of my friends back home, for sure. (0:03)

That was Warren Yi, a native of Calgary. He was taking a couple of hours out of his working day to watch the match live. For natives of the country where hockey is the national sport, this game was too important to record and watch later.

WARREN YI: I’m more of a live guy – I wanna know, you know, be in the moment. That feeling of you know suspense and angst is experienced better live than repeat. There’s an extreme sense of pride. (0:14)

Yi also took a long lunch break yesterday to watch the Canada – Norway game with friends.

Sports expert Dan Lebowitz says this kind of commitment is totally normal – especially among expats.

LEBOWITZ: Let’s say you are Canadian and you’re living in the United States, there’s sort of this collegiality of expatriates that wherever they are can then again still bond under that unifying umbrella that is the greatness of sport and the greatness of the fanhood for their team. (0:15)

Team Canada is up 10 minutes into the game and a man wearing a Canadian flag tie is sitting alone watching the game intently. He will only give him name as “Michael”, but says he isn’t missing anything important at work.

MICHAEL: It is a client event, technically, so not skipping work. The client is Canadian as well so… (0:05)

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As the Canadian beer is devoured and the wings eaten, it doesn’t really matter that Canada won 6 – 0. It’s definitely better than the office.

Eleanor Stanford, Columbia Radio News.

 

 

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