Archives For hockey

Words Are Not Enough

MH3 —  February 23, 2014

Words are not enough to describe the last few days.

Our Canadian women and men laying waste to the Olympic hockey world. Our collective heartbeat thumping as one. Our hopes for gold doubly fulfilled.

We gathered as families, friends, colleagues, and classmates. We celebrated with strangers, commuters, bar hoppers, and barber shoppers. We arranged fake meetings, organized staff parties, and begged for Olympic-inspired class lessons; in hopes we could watch.

Hockey gremlins placed televisions in the strangest of places, as if inspired by the cleverest of Bell ads. Hockey addicts unapologetically stole looks at your laptop screen and bought permission with a shrug that said they couldn’t breathe without knowing the score.

Go Canada Go.

It didn’t come easy and we are glad it didn’t. Handwringing galore over our men’s lack of scoring was rudely overthrown by sheer panic in the women’s final. But while a goal post physically kept the team alive, it was the heart those women shared that downed this American dream.

For our men the final was not so climactic, yet the manner in which they played was equally dramatic. Mega-stars all, yet every one playing like a fourth line grinder, back-checking the Swedes into a ground chuck fit to become an Ikea meatball.

In the end, we can all name the champions we adore. Wickenheiser the ageless wizard. Toews the golden goal getter. At opposite ends of their hockey careers, each a multiple-champion, each surrounded by the same.

There are no words to describe them all.

Leading from the Front

MH3 —  April 11, 2013

How do I summarize a week where it seemed every waking moment was filled with inspiration kicking me in the butt?

Some of the motivation was formally delivered. I witnessed a riveting speech delivered by General Rick Hillier at the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance Sport Events Congress. His central message about inspiring others and inspiring yourself revealed that his approach to motivating troops abroad was grounded in ensuring they stayed connected to being Canadian – a sip of Tim Horton’s coffee, a Christmas dinner made by a CO, a visit from the Stanley Cup.

Some of it arrived unexpectedly but in formal settings. In a meeting at Rideau Hall, I was enraptured to hear Bernard Shinder talk about how the event we now call Canada Day was created in the 1970’s by a group of well-connected Ottawa business leaders. Canada Day in Ottawa is a must do event for every Canadian, but in its early days was held away from the shadow of Parliament Hill, as the government feared it may flop!

Some out of the blue. An impromptu offer for a ride from the above Rideau Hall confab, found me being chauffeured by none other than General Walter Natynczyk and hearing about his three children, all proudly serving in our armed forces around the world. How energizing the words of a proud father were, discussing the love his offspring have for serving their country.

Some grew organically. Specifically from Charmaine Crooks, Debbi Wilkes, and Loreen Barnett participating in a Women of Influence panel, moderated by the non-influential male known as MH3, also at the CSTA event. Their voices combined to form a chorus of motivation and insights for women pursuing a career in sports marketing. To quote Debbi Wilkes, “Don’t let anybody else write the script for YOUR life!”

Some were ensnared in the jaws of defeat. Unfortunately at the hands of the US Women’s hockey team who upended Team Canada, in the gold medal world championship game, with their superior skills and sizzling skating. But defeat can be a powerful motivator and all of us should emotionally team up with our women for revenge in Sochi.

I misled you. This wasn’t even an entire week. It was actually only three days. And it wasn’t a butt kicking. No – it was more of a motivational stampede to catch up to those leading from the front!