I'm not a huge fan of the Summer Olympics - which seems only right because after all I am Canadian
and in Canada...
And upon a winter time, there was a little girl who loved to play hockey. She dreamt about stick handling her way down the right wing, closing in on the net, then with a quick wrist snap she puts the puck in the top left corner. It's all one fluid movement and she nails it every time. That's the way it is with dreams.
Reality told a different story. It was the 1960's, the time before helmets and face masks. Little girls were not supposed to like hockey let alone play. More than that, they were not allowed to play hockey. And no wonder - girls skates, those bright white figure skates with the sharp picks at the front, were not made for hockey. The little girl struggled in too narrow skates, hand-me-downs from a sister who skated perfectly through turns and twists, forwards and backwards. But this little girl never mastered the task, defeated every time by those blasted picks that dug into the ice and sent her down too hard, too often. The laughter and taunts from the sidelines didn't help.
The best Christmas ever delivered an official hockey sweater of the Chicago Blackhawks, CCM gloves and a Titan hockey stick. The dream lived on. Her father, cutting up the ice in speed and wide turns, encouraged the dream. The mother tolerated the dream, taking all this hockey stuff in her stride for the most part, but she drew the line when the father suggested buying boys' tube skates. It was a bridge too far for the mother of the not so girly daughter.
No matter, out on the winter street, hard packed with snow, the neighbourhood boys always needed an extra player and the little girl was always dressed and ready to go in sweater, gloves, stick, boots and my own puck!
Living the dream.
The years passed and girl grew and the boys grew and soon wanted nothing to do with the hockey girl who couldn't skate. She settled for Hockey Night in Canada to satisfy her desire, but mostly the dream fell asleep, and thirty years slipped by...
1998 - The Women broke onto the ice hockey scene at the Olympics in Nagano, Japan. A little girl's dream tucked inside a grown woman, stirred and stretched. Oh to have been born in the 70's instead of the 50's.
It's 2016 and it's summer, a sweltering summer.
And it's time for the Summer Olympics
Let the games begin!
And here's another cool fact...
Go Canada, Go!
©2016 April Hoeller