Hockey players enjoying Vancouver Games
VANCOUVER — His is not a completely objective view considering Vancouver has been his second home for the better part of a decade, but Henrik Sedin can’t fathom some of the bad press these Olympics have been getting.
“It is unbelievable,” the Canucks forward said after he helped Sweden beat Belarus 4-2 on Friday. “I read a lot of things in the paper about this being a failure and the weather being bad. But look outside. I walked today from the (athletes’) village back home . . . and there is blue sky and you see the mountains . . .
“We are on the bus every day to the practice rink and that is what we talk about on the bus, how beautiful it is and what a great Olympics it is. There are going to be weather problems everywhere and they had it for a few days up in Whistler and Cypress, but that’s the way it is going to be.”
Sedin says his Swedish teammates and players he knows from other teams have been universal in their praise for the city and the way the hockey tournament has been run. He also said the atmosphere on the streets of Vancouver is so much better than it was four years ago in Turin, Italy.
“They love it, they can see the rink from the village, all the tents across the street. It is just an unbelievable atmosphere. Just to walk down the streets, there are people in the restaurants sitting outside cheering us. It is great.”
Sedin’s former Canucks teammate, Swedish defenceman Mattias Ohlund, said the atmosphere in the city and the energy inside Canada Hockey Place has been everything he hoped it would be.
“I love the intensity,” Ohlund said. “I miss playing in a hockey city, which I am sure most guys playing in the U.S. cities do. It’s a great building.”
This is the third Olympics for Czech captain Patrik Elias and he rated Vancouver the best of the bunch as far as atmosphere goes.
“I think it is probably the best,” Elias said after the Czechs beat Latvia 5-2 on Friday night. “We are among the people when we walk out of the village. You see the fans around here, you can walk into town and kind of breathe in the atmosphere from the fans. In Turin and Salt Lake you were kind of isolated there. So this is great and this is obviously a hockey country and hockey town and you can sense that.”
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