Tuesday, 10 April 2012

I admire an Ice Hockey Coach

This is the story.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Former Carolina Hurricanes assistant Tom Rowe was hired as head coach of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl as the Russian club rebuilds after all of its players, coaches and staff were killed in a plane crash.
Hurricanes spokesman Mike Sundheim confirmed Rowe's hiring Monday.
The 55-year-old Rowe spent his entire coaching career with the Carolina organization. He was a pro scout for the team this year after three seasons on the Hurricanes' coaching staff. Before that, he spent four seasons as the head coach and general manager of their AHL affiliate in Lowell and Albany.
Lokomotiv's plane crashed last September shortly after takeoff outside Yaroslavl, and among the 44 people killed was former Carolina forward Josef Vasicek. The team wore patches with his jersey No. 63 this season.

Here are my comments.

First, those who know me will be surprised to note that I am writing about a sports story! However, Coach Rowe was interviewed on P.R.I.’s radio show “The World” earlier today. Somewhat snob that I am, I was surprised and delighted to hear him. (A hockey coach – whatever could he say which was worth hearing!).

Coach Rowe referred to his experience of coaching hockey in North America. That gave an indication of his sensitivity -  a recognition that (ice) hockey is played in Canada and the U.S.A.

He went on to say that his coaching style is rooted in dialogue. He doesn’t simply tell the players how to perform -  he wants to hear their opinions and suggestions  about the game.

Then he added that he and his wife were looking forward to living in and learning from a different culture; that his wife has enrolled in a Russian language course in Yaroslavl, and that he would try to learn some Russian from her.

He noted with approval that the Russian game is less violent than hockey in North America.

The interviewer asked him if he would miss “pulled pork” (a specialty in Raleigh). “Yes”, he would, and then added (not in these exact words) “but I am looking forward to eating Borscht -  for I have heard that nothing can beat homemade Borscht in Russia, and I can’t wait to try it”.

This man is clearly the ant-thesis of the well known “ugly American abroad”.  I am beginning to think that he is one of our finest exports!

You should be able to listen to the story here


(cut and paste this link if necessary)

1 comment:

  1. Sports are meant to unite and bring people together. Even though ice hockey can turn into a violent game at times, it still has the power to forge strong human relationships. Ice hockey is played by proud people.
    Another thing I particularly liked about this story is how ice hockey teams can help each other to recover from unfortunate and sad events (like the Russian plance crash that wiped out a whole team).
    And yes, moves like Coach Rowe's clearly show that the Cold War is definitely over. More and more people from all fields of life, and especially sports, try hard to eliminate the slightest chance of the disgraceful sports boycotts in the 70s and the 80s coming back again.