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Christian Friesen

Slaying the Dragon.

Vancouver's False Creek, with BC Place in background and Dragon Boats racing to the finish line in foreground.

There were more than a few references to the Vancouver Canucks ‘slaying the dragon’ when they beat the Blackhawks on their quest for the Cup, which if you can believe, began two months ago!

Now, as we wait in slightly nervous (and maybe giddy) anticipation for Game 6 on Monday night, we wonder if the nightmarish Messier infused dragon of the NY Rangers in 1994 will be slayed….embodied of course by the bears from Boston this year.

Too much hockey history for ya?

Anyhooo, we saw some dragons being slayed of a different sort today.

We took in the Dragon Boat Races in Vancouver today.

What an amazing event.  I’m embarrassed to say, but in the 25 years of this event going on in my backyard, this was the first time I’ve seen it live.

The racing was cool to see, but more remarkable were the people behind the paddles.  There were several teams in bright pink that we wondered about.  Breast cancer survivors we were told.  Talk about slaying a dragon.  Cool.

Turning something very awful into action for something very good.

That’s slaying the dragon.

That’s Be The Best.

We saw that team being applauded as they made their way down to their boat for one of the many races of the day.  You knew how proud the family and friends in the crowd were of their paddler.

We loved watching Chris row for his school club and seeing how these teenagers learned to work together to perform a task.  Actually more than that.  If you didn’t work together you would fail miserably, not simply succeed at a lower level.  Teamwork meant EVERYTHING. 

We watched a number of practices and then cheered loudly on race day as we watched these High Schoolers push to the finish just 500 short days ago.  We are so proud of those rowers too…and of course one of them has a place in our heart forever.

Here’s a few pics from today.

ps. Races continue tomorrow.  If you’re near Vancouver, it’s a great scene. Here’s the official link.

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Be The Best.

Steaming to Be The Best.

The Canucks honoured Stan Syml the other night at Roger’s Arena.

For those ‘well aged’ enough to remember, Stan ‘Steamer’ Syml epitomized the lunch bucket, hard working, never quit attitude of the Canucks in the early 80’s and led the Canucks on their improbable run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1982.

I talked to Max and Chris about Stan Syml and my new favourite over the more recent years Trevor Linden.

I have the most priceless pictures of each of those players drawn by Max and Chris (Max drew Linden, Chris drew Syml) with their hockey cards inserted in the frame.  They gave them to me as Christmas or Birthday presents about 10 years ago and they are still proudly displayed in my office at BCIT.

The thing I loved about Smyl was that he just never quit.  It wasn’t about talent.  It wasn’t about speed.  It wasn’t about size.  It was about heart.

Love it.

As we enter another hockey season, I will never forget the conversations about hockey and sports and how we weaved that into conversations about life and working hard to achieve goals etc.

That’s Be The Best!