Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jon Quick, UMass Amherst Hockey Player, Leads the Kings to the Stanley Cup and Hockey History

As those of you who read this blog know, I am now spending time in Gothenburg, Sweden as a Visiting Professor. The experience has been fabulous, professionally and personally.

While residing in Sweden, I can't help but absorb all of the wonderful events, including sports events, since the Swedes not only care about their environment but also are very big on physical fitness and sports.

When I turn on the TV (always entertaining to see the programming in different countries) there are always sports events being televised and lately it has been hockey and, of course, the 2012 Euro soccer matches (more on this later).

Yesterday, sports history was made and the news hit very close to "home."

First, Jonathan Quick, the LA Kings goalie, and former UMass Amherst hockey player, led his team to its first Stanley Cup and on their home ice in LA!

I remember watching Jon Quick play hockey as the goalie at UMass Amherst at the Mullins Center. Since my daughter is a competitive figure skater, over the years we have spent a lot of time at ice rinks, including the wonderful Mullins Center at UMass.

Yesterday (I admit, I am of Ukrainian heritage and Ukrainian is my first language, which I learned in Canada as a child), was also the 2012 Euro soccer match between Sweden and Ukraine, which took place in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. Here in Gothenburg, the fans were decked out in blue and gold, and the same in Ukraine, since the flags of both of these countries are blue and gold.

The first half of the soccer game was scoreless. Then, the Swedes scored, and Ukraine's amazing soccer player, Shevchenko (also the surname of the famous Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevchenko), scored two headers and the Ukrainians, who are the co-hosts of 2012 Euro, with Poland, won the game.

Sports draw the audience in not only because of team loyalties but also because of the uncertainty of the outcome of a game and the ongoing suspense.

Two sports that I love to watch, because of the athleticism of the players, are hockey and soccer, and yesterday was a double treat!